• Robert Spicer

McDonalds: Examples Of Prosecutions

In May 2008 McDonalds was fined £17,000 after a young worker was scalded by hot oil.

In February 2005 a seventeen-year old employee was working at the McDonald’s restaurant in Eastgates, Leicester.She slipped and plunged the whole of her arm into a fryer full of scalding hot oil. She suffered partial thickness and superficial burns to her left arm and forearm. She had to have plastic surgery and missed five months at college because of her injuries.

The filtering machine and fryer vat extension pipe had been leaking oil onto the floor. Employees had placed cardboard underneath to soak it up. This made the slip hazard worse because of the floor’s inadequate slip resistance.

McDonald’s pleaded guilty to not having a safe system of work for preventing spillages and cleaning the floor. Cardboard did not count as a suitable means of removing oil and employees had not been properly trained in their cleaning duties. The maintenance history card on the leaking machine had not been completed for more than a year.

The restaurant’s risk assessment failed to identify suitable control measures for the contamination of floors, the condition of the flooring and employee footwear. Records showed that the branch had not investigated the causes of more than half of all reported accidents in the year before the scalding incident. McDonalds had failed to follow its own accident investigation procedure.

McDonalds was fined £12,400 in August 2001 after pleading guilty to 20 charges of illegally employing children. The children were working late at night in the Camberley branch of the company’s restaurant on school days in the restaurant. One 15 year old girl worked for 16 hours on a Saturday. Another worked from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on a school day. McDonalds placed the blame on the franchisee.

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