Restaurant chain Zizzi has been ordered to pay almost £30,000 in fines and costs after a kitchen incident that saw one of its chefs sustain a fractured elbow.
Cosmin Mihut, an assistant chef at its Leicester restaurant, suffered the injury after slipping on wet ceramic tiles. The accident was the fourth that occurred in the same area within a four-month period.
Azzurri Restaurants, trading as Zizzi, pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates’ Court to contravening rules regarding an unsafe ceramic-tiled kitchen floor, failure to assess the risks and hazard of the floor services and lack of proper first-aid training and equipment at its restaurant in the city’s Belvoir Street.
According to the Leicester Mercury, Louise Jamieson for Leicester City Council told the court: “The kitchen porter helped [Mihut] to his feet and the head chef told him to take a break. He said he needed to go to hospital and drove himself there.”
The employee returned to work the next day and did not claim compensation for his injury.
“The floor of the kitchen was slippery with drops of water but it was dangerous with or without water, prone to be slippery if anything had been spilt on it,” added Jamieson.
Alice Jarratt, for Azzurri Restaurants, said there had been three generic risk assessments carried out and two specific assessments in 2014. “A full and thorough risk assessment was complete the day after the accident,” she remarked.
Passing sentence, bench chairman Nigel Sudborough said the spate of accidents that took place at the site suggested the company did not take the measures it should and it was fortunate that no major injury had been cause.
He fined the chain £12,000 for failing to ensure the floor was safe and without risks to the health and safety of its workers.
Zizzi was also hit with a £6,000 penalty for failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees from the ceramic-tiles floor surfaces in the rear and front kitchens and the area in front of the kitchen counter. A further £6,000 fine was handed down for failing to inform employees of how to get first-aid treatment if needed.
The court granted the council’s application for almost £6,000 costs, bringing the total to just shy of £30,000, which the company agreed to pay within 28 days.