Employment in the catering industry can be a dangerous business. The employees in catering and hospitality are subjected to a very high risk of accidents at work, including slips, trips, and falls. In numerous instances, employers have failed to take proper regard of the health and safety of their staff with serious potential for injury. Below is an actual example, where serious negligence on behalf of the employer could have led to an accident.
Restaurant accidents from tripping hazards posed by carelessly placed items
In South Derbyshire, a council inspector was left with no other choice but to prosecute a restaurant proprietor who repeatedly ignored advice and as a result, failed to control the risk of a slip, trip, or fall on his premises..
An environmental health officer performed a routine inspection of the premises and advised the proprietor to remove objects in a storeroom that were causing a particular risk of tripping. The proprietor complied with the advice but was further advised to ensure that his premises were kept free from such hazards in future.
A subsequent visit seven months later revealed that the proprietor had failed to act upon the advice he had been given, by not maintaining his premises in a proper and tidy fashion. Serious risks of tripping and falling were identified, such as an electrical cable trailing across a step, and a storeroom that was regularly used by the staff to obtain facilities for the customers (such as toilet paper and high chairs), was in a seriously untidy condition.
What happened to the proprietor?
The proprietor was prosecuted for various tripping hazards in addition to poor food hygiene. The proprietor pleaded guilty to not keeping floors free from articles which may cause a person to trip, and hence could casue restaurant accidents, contrary to Regulation 12(3) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.Open Claim Calculator
The trial judge stated that ‘the safety of employees is imperative’. He said the tripping hazards, particularly the trailing cable, were ‘an accident waiting to happen’.
The proprietor was fined £1000 for this offence, compared to fines of £500 for non-compliance with Food Safety Improvement Notices, and £250 for the food hygiene offences, showing the significance that the Judge gave to the tripping hazard.
Remember, if you’ve suffered restaurant accidents, as a result of a tripping hazard at work, then you may be entitled to work accident compensation. Accident Advice Helpline are on hand to help.