Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Court Bill of Almost PS1m for KFC over Workers Hurt by Hot Gravy

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Court Bill of Almost PS1m for KFC over Workers Hurt by Hot Gravy

Article excerpt

Byline: GARETH LIGHTFOOT @GazetteCourt

FAST food firm Kentucky Fried Chicken has been hit with a bill of almost PS1m after two Teesside workers were burned with hot gravy. KFC admitted health and safety breaches at two restaurants where employees were hurt and scarred.

Joshua Arnold was just 16 when he was scalded with gravy at the Teesside Retail Park store in July 2014, leaving him with second degree burns on his arms.

A more experienced female worker was injured preparing hot gravy at KFC in Wellington Square, Stockton, in December 2015.

Teesside Crown Court judge Sean Morris said Joshua, from Easterside in Middlesbrough, was an inexperienced employee who was not properly supervised.

He said: "There was - by lower management - a reluctance to follow the guidance that was provided by the company. And that's when accidents happen.

"Kitchens are dangerous places. There are large vats of boiling fat, hot ovens, microwaves warming up, in this case gravy.

"Burns occurred as a result of inadequate, in my view, supervision and the inadequate provision of safety equipment such as gauntlets."

Joshua said he felt "unbelievable" pain when the red hot gravy spilled over his hands and arms.

His hands were wrapped in paper towels - later removed at hospital with pieces of his skin after staff put him in a taxi to A&E. He was sent his P45 while recovering.

The judge said DVD footage showed staff flouted company rules and took hot gravy tubs out of the microwave with bare hands.

"Well, in this case, the inevitable happened," he added.

"The gravy was taken out of the microwave without the proper gauntlet being worn, and burns ensued to both victims. It is the duty of management at every level to ensure that corners are not cut."

The company admitted health and safety breaches and was commended by the Stockton Council prosecution for its co-operation.

Judge Morris said the lack of training given to Joshua meant the failings were likely to cause him harm, and other workers were exposed to the same risk. …

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