Former owners of Hitchin pub fined almost £14,000 after teenager badly burnt

Stevenage Magistrates' Court

Stevenage Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

The former owner of a Hitchin pub has been ordered to pay almost £14,000 after a teenager was badly burnt while working as a kitchen porter.

Schweizerhof Ltd – which owned The Radcliffe Arms pub in Walsworth Road until March this year – pleaded guilty to failure to discharge its duty under health and safety regulations.

Stevenage magistrates imposed a fine of £12,500 on Friday, ordering the company to pay further costs of £1,333.33 and a £120 victim surcharge after a prosecution was brought by North Herts District Council.

The fine relates to an incident in December 2013 which resulted in a 17-year-old boy being badly burnt.

The teenager – working as a part-time kitchen porter – was asked to empty and clean the deep fat fryer after lunch service.

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Without having been given proper instruction and guidance, he emptied the fryer while the oil was still very hot, spilling it over his hand and the back of his leg, sustaining serious burns.

The teenager was collected from work by his father and taken to Lister Hospital in Stevenage where his burns were treated.

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Councillor Bernard Lovewell, responsible for environmental health at the district council, said: “The company involved did not have suitable and sufficient risk assessments and there was no safe system of work in place.

“As the council is responsible for enforcement of health and safety at work, in this instance there was no choice other than to prosecute – particularly in such a serious case which involved causing injury to an inexperienced, vulnerable person.”

The Radcliffe Arms is now under new ownership and had a relaunch party at the start of the month.

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