On July 14th 2014, a 16 year old employee suffered serious burns to his hands and arms.
On December 1st 2015, an employee at a separate restaurant spilled gravy on herself whilst removing gravy from the microwave, causing serious burns to her body.
Despite health and safety rules and procedures being in place and agreed to, the staff members in question suffered severe burns after cutting corners and failing to wear the required PPE- a gauntlet for removing gravy tubs from the microwave. The court stated that “It is the duty of management at every level to ensure corners are not cut”.
Environmental Health officers from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council visited the Wellington Square premises, the site of the second incident, on 3rd December 2015. They found that staff at the restaurant were unable to locate any spare protective gloves, processes were not being managed and the business failed to ensure that their own procedures were being followed.
The Judge ruled that there was a lack of training given; but was complimentary about the company’s subsequent preventative actions:
“I am perfectly satisfied that they are pro-active in seeking to prevent this happening again. They have put in place user-friendly steps to warn employees. The company did not financially cut corners in spending on health and safety; they spend millions on it, and I’m satisfied that they take it very seriously indeed.
“Had its policies and procedures been strictly enforced by the company management, and had management ensured that the necessary safeguards were always in the right place at the right time, this should not have happened.”
Kentucky Fried Chicken (Great Britain) Limited was ordered to pay a total of £950,000 in fines and £18,700 in costs.
KFC representatives said that training had been given to staff and the chain invests £7.5million in health and safety measures every year. They added that procedures were in place but were not followed, that such incidents are very rare, and that they had cooperated with all aspects of the investigation.