PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd was fined £200,000 today (31 July) after a maintenance worker was seriously injured after falling 5 metres out of a restaurant window onto the pavement below.
Kamil Pisarek, who was 28 years old at the time of the incident, suffered serious spinal injuries and was left a tetraplegic after surviving the fall on 8 December 2011.
On the day of the accident, the former head chef required Kamil to carry a heavy hot cupboard up a back staircase leading from the first to the second floor, assisted by three other employees.
The hot cupboard, weighing 168kg, became stuck on the first landing in close proximity to a low-level first floor window. While trying to free the unit, Kamil fell backwards through the window and onto the pavement.
Westminster City Council prosecuted PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd after an investigation identified serious safety failings.
PizzaExpress (Restaurants) Ltd had pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to protect the health, safety and welfare of one of its employees.
The company was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs amounting to £58,453 at a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court.
After the hearing, Cllr Nickie Aiken, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “This was an awful incident, and this young man suffered life changing injuries which were wholly avoidable.
“We hope the sentence sends out a strong message to any businesses that are ever tempted to cut corners, especially when people’s lives and health could be put at risk.”
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