During the summer of 2013, staff at the restaurant of a department store refused to use a knife in order to cut a baguette for customers wishing to share the snack (HSE ‘Myth Busters’, Case 203; http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/myth-busting/2013/case203-restaurant-knives.htm).
The excuse given for this refusal was that all knives previously available for their use had been removed from the premises due to health and safety concerns.
Disgusted with the refusal, one of the customers contacted the HSE to find out whether this was indeed a legal requirement for employers wishing to prevent work accidents.
The myth busting panel decided that while employers do indeed have the responsibility to prevent accidents in the workplace, this refusal was without doubt just a case of pitiful customer service.
There is no relevant legislation forbidding use of knives within restaurant environments, although employers do have to ensure staff are adequately trained in their correct use.
The store has since recognised this fact, apologised to their customers for the incident and advised their staff that cutting baguettes in half with the help of suitable knives is a service that can and should be provided.
Employers in all types of profession are legally required to protect their employees against accidental work injuries by providing proper, well-maintained equipment for whatever activities are required, as well as giving workers the necessary training to conduct their duties in a safe manner.
Should injuries occur to workers due to their employer’s failure to do so, the injured individuals are entitled to claim for work injury compensation.
Work related injury compensation
Any person injured at work due to lack of adequate training or failure to provide correct equipment within the past 36 months may have the right to claim for industrial injury compensation.
This not only applies to cuts, bruises, burns or broken bones, but also to industrial deafness, repetitive strain injuries, vibration white finger and other long-term work related conditions.
Claim for injuries at work
Accident Advice Helpline is a law firm assisting injured individuals in obtaining personal injury compensation. Offering no win, no fee services, the company is available for advice via a 24 hour helpline.
This free phone number is available seven days/ week and is manned by experienced, friendly staff. An alternative method of determining the likelihood of a work injury claim succeeding is to consult the compensation calculator on the firm’s official website.