Morrisons was deemed to have missed opportunities to ensure Matthew’s safety

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) has recently reported on this tragic case. Where Morrisons was charged with three health and safety violations in the fatal accident case of Matthew Gunn.

Matthew Gunn, 27, was using the stairs in the supermarket’s Tewkesbury store on 25 September 2014, when he’s believed to have suffered from an epileptic seizure. The resultant fall caused severe head injuries and he sadly died in hospital on 7 October 2014.

It’s so important for employers to ensure they are following health and safety procedures, to avoid such desperately sad circumstances. If you  or someone you know are unfortunate to have already suffered from an injury at work then please find out more about how to make a work accident claim here.

SHP reports:

“Morrisons, which was aware of Mr Gunn’s epileptic condition – was deemed to have missed opportunities to ensure his safety. It was charged with three health and safety violations which it denied:

  • Failure to ensure the health and safety of an employee who had epilepsy

  • Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the employee who had epilepsy

  • Failure to review risks to which an employee with epilepsy might be exposed

Morrisons admitted a fourth charge of failing to supply the council with requested information relating to the death of the employee.

However, on 2 February 2023, following a three-week trial at Cirencester Courthouse, the jury found Morrisons guilty on all four charges.

Sentencing took place on 17 March – the judge placed the offences in the highest category of culpability and harm, and Morrisons was fined £3.5 million.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Head of Community Services, Peter Tonge, said: “This was a long and difficult investigation, and the successful court outcome is a reflection of the dedication and professionalism of our investigation team.

“Matthew Gunn was extremely vulnerable to health and safety risks in his workplace due to his severe epilepsy.

“Despite being aware of the risks, Morrisons failed to put in place a number of simple measures which could have kept Matthew safe at work. Furthermore, Morrisons failed to co-operate with elements of our investigation, and we are satisfied that the substantial fine imposed by the court reflects the seriousness of the omissions and failures on the part of the company.

“We hope this court outcome will send a message to all employers of the importance of complying with basic health and safety duties, and properly assessing risks, especially when it comes to vulnerable employees.

“Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Matthew’s family for their enormous patience and support throughout this investigation and we hope that the sentence imposed on Morrisons today will finally provide them with the justice they deserve after all these years.”


You can read SHP‘s full article on Matthew here>

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