A chicken shop owner has avoided jail after telling staff not to call an ambulance when his employee suffered life-changing burns which could require years of surgery.
Boss Shazad Bashir also tried to convince his employee to tell medical staff that he had suffered the burns at home.
The injuries sustained at Yorkshire Fried Chicken in Beeston, Leeds, were so severe that the worker had to spend four weeks on a hospital burns unit and may need several skin grafts.
The worker has undergone various operations and skin grafts following the horrific incident (Picture: Leeds Live/MEN Media)
The victim’s boss told staff not to call an ambulance (Picture: Leeds Live/MEN Media)Following a series of council inspections following the incident, officers found the takeaway had numerous serious breaches of health and safety regulations.
A hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how the victim had been draining the chip fryer on August 24, 2017, when he suffered the burns.
He switched the machine on before emptying oil into a plastic container – something which was standard practice at the takeaway – and took it down into the cellar, which had no working light.
The victim said he had to carry the hot oil container with one hand, holding his mobile phone in the other so he could use the phone’s torch to guide him.
As he tried to empty the container, he slipped on the floor, causing the scorching oil to splash over him.
The employee was in the hospital burns unit for four weeks receiving treatment (Picture: Leeds Live/MEN Media)He then collapsed in pain where he suffered further injuries from the oil that had been spilled.
The worker told the hearing he tried to climb back up the stairs to tell a co-worker but when Bashir heard about it he told staff not to call an ambulance.
Could we still get a new Brexit deal before March 29?After the owner arrived at the shop, he took the victim to the hospital in a taxi and told him to tell hospital staff he had sustained his injuries at home rather than at work.
The victim spent four weeks in the burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and will continue receiving treatment and potentially more surgery for the foreseeable future.
Bashir, who previously ran the shop on Beeston Road, admitted breaching health and safety regulations and has been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.
This means that if Bashir re-offends during the 12 months he will be sent to jail.
He was also handed a £10,000 fine and the company will have to pay £5,000 costs, plus a £150 victim surcharge.
Leeds-based Yorkshire Fried Chicken has been found to had seriously breached health and safety regulations (Picture: Leeds Live/MEN Media)A series of inspections since carried out on Yorkshire Fried Chicken by Leeds City Council found numerous serious breaches of health and safety regulations including slippery floors in the cellar and a lack of adequate lighting.
They also found no risk assessment process or safe system of work was in place for emptying the fat fryers.
John Mulcahy, Leeds City Council’s chief officer with responsibility for environmental health, said: ‘This was a terrible incident that has left a man with life-changing injuries and which should never have happened.
‘Everyone working in Leeds has the right to go about their jobs in an environment which is safe and where their employers have taken every precaution to ensure they are not at risk.
‘I hope this sentence passed down by the courts sends a strong message to businesses in Leeds that we will not tolerate employers who flout regulations put in place for the safety of their staff and we will prosecute those who put employees in danger.’
The company has been required to review its operating procedures and has put significant changes in place to ensure they comply with regulations.
Leeds City Council’s environmental health team has now launched an awareness and education campaign targeting food businesses.