The director of a north-east London Turkish restaurant has been fined £70,000 after an eight-year-old boy's hand was trapped in a mincing machine.
Waltham Forest Council took prosecution proceedings following a long investigation prompted by the incident in the Gokyuzu kitchen, which left the boy with life-changing injuries on 7 April 2019.
Environmental Health Officers visited Gokyuzu Walthamstow following notification of the accident and discovered an absence of any written risk assessments, training or other safety procedures. Officers found that the in-built fixed guard to the mincing machine had been removed with a mechanical angle grinder, which caused the child’s injuries when his hand became trapped in the cutting mechanism in the restaurant’s kitchen.
At the hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court, the director of Gokyuzu, Veysel Yavuz, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure the safety of employees and one count of failing to ensure dangerous machinery had the required safety measures in place. A third charge of failing to control access to the kitchen was dropped.
Deputy leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clyde Loakes said: “This incident has left a young child with life-changing injuries – and all because Gokyuzu Walthamstow failed in their health and safety obligations by removing the safety guard from their mincing machine.
“This case and the punishment handed down should be a reminder to all businesses of their duties to customers, staff and visitors - we will prosecute those that fail in their duties.
“It is often forgotten that improvements in Health and Safety law and practice have saved many serious injuries and constant vigilance by those responsible is needed to ensure compliance.”
In total, Gokyuzu/Veysel Yavuz was fined £70,000 with costs of £16,557.27 awarded to the Council.
London Borough of Waltham Forest May 2022