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A Burger King franchisee in Ipswich has been fined for the following two breaches of health and safety regulations.

South East Suffolk magistrates court fined KFG Quickserve after the company pleaded guilty to the charges. Ipswich Borough Council prosecuted the company following the injury of an 18-year-old employee, Michael Firth, in March 2015.

Firth was asked to empty the fat from three of the fryers in the branch. However, the oil had not cooled down sufficiently, and the oil spilled from the container onto Firth. The oil had still been above the recommended temperature of 40°C or below when Firth emptied the fryers. In addition, there was no lid on the container. Although protective workwear was available at the branch, it was only provided in a large size, which did not fit the worker. Describing the PPE available, the prosecutor, Pascal Bates, said:

“This was not far off a circus clown's outfit.”

When the incident occurred, Firth had not been wearing the protective clothing, so when the oil spilled on his feet, it caused burns and pain. The prosecutor added that the safety clothing had been so large, that it presented a safety hazard in itself. When other members of staff rushed to help Firth, they were also at risk from the oil that had spilled onto the metal stairs.

The company was fined £166,600 plus costs of £12,000. The court also ordered a victim surcharge to be paid, coming to £125. The company took immediate action to prevent another incident occurring.

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