May 25, 2018

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In Court

Child scalded by soup kettle at wedding leads to hotel fine

Hotel company Here For You Hospitality has been fined after a five-year-old child suffered severe burns at a wedding reception.

Middlesbrough Council brought the prosecution against the chain of hotels after council environmental health officers investigated an accident at The Sporting Lodge Hotel in Stainton in November 2016.

The youngster tripped over a trailing electric cable to a soup kettle that contained scalding hot gravy and had been left unattended by the staff. The child sustained severe burn injuries that required immediate hospital treatment and have left visible burn scars.

At Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Here For You Hospitality Middlesbrough Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £6,000 with costs of £1,645.

Commenting on the prosecution, Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “This company failed to manage their business safety, giving rise to a serious risk to the public which resulted in a child being injured.

“This incident caused significant distress not only to the child but to friends and family at a wedding party which turned a happy occasion into a serious incident.

“Employers must take steps to protect their employees and any other people who could be affected by their work, giving particular consideration to the more vulnerable and those at greater risk such as small children.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, added: “Health and safety laws are there to set standards and protect workers and others. The Council has a duty to ensure Health and Safety standards in more than 2,500 workplaces in Middlesbrough.

“When standards fall below those required by law, there can be serious consequences for employees and – as in this case – the public. Officers from the Public Protection Service thoroughly investigate workplace accidents and where necessary, enforcement action will be taken.”

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Ian Wightman
Ian Wightman
6 years ago

Whilst sympathetic to the child & acknowledging the company were probably negligent I strongly suspect like most children at weddings the child was allowed to run around without any regards from the parents.

6 years ago
Reply to  Ian Wightman

Heaven forbid that children should run around at weddings…..

Robin Dobson
Robin Dobson
6 years ago

How can a fine and costs of £7645.00 be a deterrent or just punishment for an incident that would have been so easy to prevent if the management and staff had been competent? The argument that the bad publicity would be a punishment only works if the incident details are widely published
Have any individuals been prosecuted? My opinion is that at least the duty manager and owner should have been prosecuted.

6 years ago

As you state it was expected that children run round at weddings so it should be safe fr them to do so

Mark Price
Mark Price
6 years ago
Reply to  Trevor

I strongly support that comment. Many become “blind” to their own environment and need a helping hand to see the hazards.