Supermarket giant Tesco has been fined £1.6 million for health and safety failures in its Tesco Metro store on Greenford Road, which resulted in a delivery driver reversing into a loading bay and injuring a member of the public.

Following a successful prosecution by Ealing Council, the investigation revealed that drivers often reversed unassisted into the store, with the staff failing to notice that it went against their internal procedures.

Isleworth Crown Court heard that in August 2014, the driver in question was reversing unassisted when the vehicle ran into the pedestrian. The manoeuvre trapped the self-employed tradesman between the loading bay and the vehicle, and he sustained serious and life-changing injuries as the result of the impact.

A prolonged and detailed investigation by the council’s health and safety team established that Tesco failed to manage the risks of vehicles and pedestrians both using the car park of the premises, which is open to the public at all times. The organisation also failed to notice that drivers were often reversing on-site unassisted, which was contrary to its internal procedures.

The investigation has led to improvements being made to the layout of the car park, including an installation of barriers preventing access by private vehicles and pedestrians when delivery trucks are manoeuvring on-site.

Councillor Julian Bell, Leader of the Council said: “This is a great result for the Council. I am very pleased that the court has recognised the seriousness of these offences and imposed a fine reflecting this.

“We will always prioritise the safety of local people and this investigation has secured changes to the layout of the car park in question which will hopefully reduce the chances of another tragic incident such as this occurring.

“Our health and safety team will not hesitate to take action against any organisation – large or small – who fails to comply with their obligations to protect their employees and others affected by their activities.”

Tesco pleaded guilty to breaching two offences. The judge fined the supermarket £800,000 for each offence and ordered it to pay £50,000 in costs.