24th November 2021
Holiday Inn Express Fined for Health and Safety Breaches
The Holiday Inn Express in Dunstable has recently been fined following a serious health and safety breach following a serious incident involving a deep fat fryer which resulted in third-degree burns to an employees arms, legs and torso.
An untrained member of staff was instructed by a manager to empty and clean the commercial oil fryer in the kitchen. When the member of staff picked up the filled container, he was immediately burned from oil melting through the thin plastic container that had been provided for the job. The employee dropped the container onto the floor, but then also slipped and fell into the hot oil, receiving second and third-degree burns to his arms, legs and torso, covering approximately 10% of his body. As a result, the employee is physically scarred and has not worked since, subsequently suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). During the emptying, the member of staff was not wearing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent burns and was given a plastic container to empty the oil into.
Central Bedfordshire council undertook an investigation into the incident which found that the employee had not been trained for the task required, nor was he was provided with suitable personal protective equipment to prevent burns. Furthermore, the investigation found there was a possibility that the fryer had even been switched off from the previous evening’s use and therefore had not cooled down as expected – to compound this there was no working thermometer on the fryer to indicate how hot the oil was.
Central Bedfordshire Council prosecuted The Gateway Hotel, Dunstable (known as The Holiday Inn Express) and RBH Hospitality Management for failings under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, sections 2(1) and 3(1), following a breach in their legal duty of care towards a member of staff. Both companies pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay £16,830 in fines and costs.