Aldi hit with £1 million fine after staff training failure

An aldi store

Watching someone more experienced doing a job can be very useful when you’re learning the ropes. However, it can never be a substitute for proper training. 

The supermarket giant Aldi have discovered this the hard way. The company has now been ordered to pay a £1million fine and £70,000 costs for their mistakes.

No formal training

In the past, the company’s new delivery drivers were expected to learn their job by simply shadowing other drivers, before starting to work independently. There were no checks in place to make sure these new drivers could operate equipment that they would be using regularly.

Life-changing injury

With such an informal system, it was only a matter of time before a new employee got hurt. In November 2013, a delivery driver in his second week of work at the Aldi store in Somercotes, Derbyshire, was injured while operating a powered pallet truck. All the toes on his left foot were fractured and two had to be amputated. The man continues to experience pain from these life-changing injuries. 

In-depth investigation

It was the local council Amber Valley’s Regulation Unit which pursued the long investigation into the practices at the store. The Council’s lead investigating officer, Julia Cope said: 

“This accident resulted in very nasty injuries to a driver who had been asked to carry out work using equipment for which his employer had failed to provide structured and necessary formal training.” 

Aldi admitted its failure to provide suitable training. The Judge pointed out that previous incidents in the company should have led Aldi to review its approach sooner.

Councillor David Taylor praised the high level of the fine as reflecting “the seriousness of the failings within the company. This investigation and outcome will hopefully result in a renewed focus by Aldi to ensure that standards are maintained to ensure employees receive adequate protection from the risk of injury.”

McCormack Benson Health and Safety’s specialist consultants are able to review training procedures for organisations across a variety of sectors. They can provide detailed advice on tailoring and improving training programmes to ensure employees are able to carry out their work safely.