The 26-year-old worker from Leeds-based air conditioning company ICH Ltd fell three metres through a false ceiling at the Iceland store in Clayton, Manchester on June 17 2015.
Manchester Magistrates Court heard that two engineers had been replacing a motor in an air handling unit.
One worker was standing on a working platform, accessed via the roof of the stores cold room. The second engineer was standing on the roof, which was surrounded by a wooden barrier.
Falling three metres
While stood on the platform fitting the new motor, the engineer stepped backwards off the platform – which was positioned over a false ceiling – falling three metres to the ground below.
ICH pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,050.18.
Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Jennifer French said falls from height continued to account for a high number of workplace deaths.
“Businesses should ensure that all work at height, including work on false ceilings, is properly planned, properly supervised and carried out safely,” added French.
There was no suggestion that Iceland Foods acted improperly.
Prosecutions of food companies
A number of food and drink companies have been prosecuted in the past year, after workers fell from height.
Tesco Stores Ltd and Tesco Maintenance Ltd were ordered to pay more than £500,000 for safety failings in October, after an employee fell through a skylight.
Malting company Pauls Malt Ltd was also fined for safety failings, after an agency worker plunged from a ladder. The company was ordered to pay a £100,000 fine.
Meanwhile, you can view our gallery of health and safety failings that lead to tragic deaths and learn how your business can avoid accidents.