28/09/2017 - Permalink

Company running Shrewsbury restaurant fined £16,898 over unguarded hand dryer

Related topics: Public protection

The company which runs the Dragon King restaurant in Shrewsbury has been fined £12,000 at Telford Magistrates Court after a customer was severely injured whilst using the hand dryer in the ladies washroom.

A case was brought by Shropshire Council’s regulatory services team following an injury – in May 2016 – to a woman in her 50s with learning difficulties. The woman – from the Newtown area – suffered severe lacerations to fingers on her left hand, to such an extent that the end of her middle finger was surgically amputated.

Having admitted in an earlier hearing in August 2017 of failing to protect people using the hand dryer, Nocaz Limited, the company which runs the restaurant, was last week sentenced in Telford Magistrates Court to a fine of £12,000 and were ordered to pay the council’s full prosecution costs of £4,728 plus £170 Victim Surcharge.

The investigation found that the warm air outlet was uncovered. The victim who had severe learning difficulties placed her fingers into the air outlet, which made contact with a rotating blower fan.  A grill plate, which was missing at the time, should have been in place to prevent a person’s fingers from making contact with the blower.

Richard Hallows, Shropshire Council’s acting regulatory services operations manager, said:

“We take breaches of health and safety requirements very seriously, and it can be seen that even a simple breach can result in serious consequences. This whole matter would have been avoided had Nocaz Limited checked the equipment properly. This was not done and the missing guard was not detected.

“Any case where a person is injured is a concern, especially so when it involves vulnerable people being exposed to unnecessary and avoidable risks. I hope this case serves as an important reminder to all businesses to consider very carefully the different risks that individuals can be exposed to when at their premises, and reduce or prevent these risks.  If anyone has any concerns or requires any advice on any aspect of the health and safety management at their business please make contact with the council’s regulatory services team.”

Shropshire-based traders who wish to seek further advice on their legal obligations can do so by contacting regulatory services on 0345 678 9002.  Guidance and advice can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website http://hse.gov.uk