The catering industry is one of the most fast-paced working environments, and with that, comes a number of health and safety dangers. These include, slips and trips, working with knives, potential musculoskeletal disorders and dermatitis.
Conducting the correct health and safety training for new staff members is vital to ensure potential hazards can be spotted and avoided. A Michelin-starred restaurant in Kenilworth fell foul of not providing the relevant training which resulted in an apprentice sustaining serious injuries.
The 18-year-old trainee chef was working at The Cross in Kenilworth when he was told to clean an extractor fan in the kitchen. He was instructed on how to clean the fan using long-established cleaning methods. Unfortunately, his foot slipped into a deep fat fryer, at a temperature of around 180 degrees, which left him with severe injuries and needing months of medical treatment.
An investigation found that the apprentice was employed by the restaurant for over a year without receiving the relevant health and safety training, health and safety information or instruction, or the findings of any health and safety risk assessments produced for working at a height, using a deep fat fryer or contact with heat sources.
At the hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre, 3 A Pub Limited, which trades as The Cross at Kenilworth, pleaded guilty to a Section 2(1) offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was ordered to pay to a fine of £25,000 as well as £5,900 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.
The company has since employed a health and safety consultant to review its health and safety management system.
Businesses who fail to enforce correct health and safety standards leave the well-being of employees at risk. Last year, slips and trips were the most common kind of non-fatal injuries to workers, accounting for 29 per cent of recorded accidents.
If the company hadn’t ignored health and safety training for over a year, the employee’s injuries could have been avoided and the company wouldn’t be left to pay a hefty fine.