Fish and chip shop owner fined £4,000 after hot oil injured worker

The owner of a fish and chip shop in the Welsh town of Risca has been fined £4,000 after a serious health and safety breach resulted in one of his employees being badly injured.

A counter assistant working at the shop – called Frydays – was forced to seek medical attention for burns after hot oil hit her feet, left leg and back.

The incident happened while Sunil Bhalla, the assistant’s employer and owner of Frydays, emptied a fryer.

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, Mr Bhalla had a legal obligation to have a safe workflow practice in place for when emptying fryer oil, and to provide employees with appropriate health and safety training suited to working on site.

During the investigation, no proof was found to show that Mr Bhalla had observed relevant health and safety legislation and he had even failed to provide safety footwear to employees, to protect against slippery floors.

Three charges were made against the Frydays owner: two regarding his general duty to his employee and one concerning a breach of health and safety regulations.

Mr Bhalla was taken to court by the environmental health team at Caerphilly County Borough Council and was fined £4,000 for three separate offences on his premises, after pleading guilty.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,144 and a victim surcharge of £120.

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Nigel is the Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution in the London office of Mackrell Turner Garrett.