Pub Company Fined After Chef is Burnt

A pub company has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £3,800 in costs after a young chef suffered burns whilst using a dangerous gas burner.

Bunting and Sons who own The Anchor Inn in Nayland, pleaded guilty to two offences after one of their employees, Peter Franklin, 19, suffered burns to his face and hands in the pub’s smoking house.

The employee – a young chef at the pub – was thrown backwards by a fireball in June 2010 when he tried to light a gas burner in The Anchor’s food smoking operation. The burns he got meant he had to be treated at a specialist burns unit at Chelmsford Broomfield Hospital.

The pub’s owners were prosecuted under the under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1999 and appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where they pleaded guilty to both charges.

Officers from the Food and Safety Regulation Team at Babergh District Council carried out an investigation after the accident and found that the gas installation, which had been assembled in-house, was dangerous, and that the risk assessment which had been carried out had failed to identify the potential hazards in its use.

Emma Richbell, Babergh’s Senior Food and Safety Officer said “This case demonstrates the importance of ensuring that only competent people install gas equipment.

“Businesses and the general public should always ask to see proof that a gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register and competent to work on the particular type of equipment in question.

“Use of a Gas Safe Engineer in this case would have prevented this accident and its consequences for Bunting and Sons and their employee.”