Leeds restaurant fined £46,000 after worker’s foot plunged into hot deep fat fryer

Restaurant Bar and Grill in City Square, Leeds.
Restaurant Bar and Grill in City Square, Leeds.
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The owners of a Leeds restaurant must pay almost £60,000 after a worker’s foot plunged into a hot deep fat fryer.

Piotr Sawicki was standing on top of a range in the kitchens of Restaurant Bar and Grill as he cleaned up at the end of service on January 14, 2016.

But the kitchen porter’s foot slipped and went into the deep fat fryer, which had been turned off but was still very hot.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Sawicki joined the team in 2012 and was shown the ropes by a colleague, who climbed on kitchen equipment to reach some of the surfaces.

Mr Sawicki had signed a risk assessment form days before the accident, but the court heard he had a limited grasp of English and had not fully understood what he was signing.

Leeds City Council went on to issue a prohibition notice in May 2016 after learning procedures had not been changed.

In no way does the prosecution suggest this is a shyster company.

Sam Green QC

But it was accepted that the restaurant acted on the advice of a health and safety firm, had no other convictions and took its responsibilities to workers at its 33 sites very seriously.

Prosecutor Sam Green QC said: “In no way does the prosecution suggest this is a shyster company that doesn’t give any regard to health and safety.”

Restaurant Bar and Grill yesterday admitted breaching its duty to protect an employee from harm on the basis that a better system could have been put in place and now has been.

Jim Ageros QC, mitigating, said it was a matter of deep regret for the company.

He said Mr Sawicki returned to work at the restaurant in City Square within six weeks and continued to work there.

District Judge Marie Mallon ordered the restaurant to pay a £46,000 fine, £13,501 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.