January 2016

Five-Figure Fine for Restaurateurs for Dangerous Flooring

A London-based restaurant chain has been fined £30,000 for having a hazardous floor, resulting in the injury of an employee.

Azzurri Restaurants, who trade under the name of Zizzi, are a well-known Italian restaurant chain with around two-hundred and fifty restaurants in the United Kingdom. Despite having a high standard of health and safety regulations, one particular outlet – on Belvoir Street in Leicester – has seen a series of accidents in recent times.

An investigation was launched into the safety of the restaurant after Cosmin Mihut, an assistant chef in the restaurant, sustained injuries after slipping on the ceramic kitchen floor. As a result of the injury, Cosmic broke his elbow.

The investigation found that the the ceramic tiling provided a hazard to employees, even if it was dry. They also determined that Azzurri Restaurants had failed to conduct a risk assessment of the floor, and as such staff were not informed of the necessity to wear non-slip footwear.

The restaurant were also found to be negligent in other respects; they did not provide their employees with adequate first-aid training, and staff were not made aware of an on-dut first-aider. Additionally, it was found that Cosmin was the fifth employee to sustain injuries because of slipping on the ceramic floor in the four months prior to the investigation.

Azzurri Restaurants were then prosecuted by Leicester City Council for their many breaches of health and safety procedures. Earlier this month, at the Leicester Magistrates’ Court, the company – based in Chapel Street, London – plead guilty to all charges.

Nigel Sudborough, the bench chairman at the hearing, commented that the company was lucky that no employee sustained more serious injuries because of the health and safety breaches. The company was then fined £12,000 for their failure to ensure the safety of the flooring in the restaurant kitchen.

Sudborough proceeded to fine Azzurri Restaurants £6,000 for the lack of risk assessments, another £6,000 for their negligence concerning first aid and ordered them to pay the council’s prosecution costs. In total, the negligent company had to pay £29,967.75 in fines for their breaches of health and safety regulations.