McDonalds has been fined £200,000 for health and safety breaches after an employee was injured while working at the fast food chain’s West Thurrock, Lakeside Retail Park branch.
At sentencing on Friday 23 March, Basildon Crown Court heard how an employee suffered a fractured knee when he was hit by a car while directing traffic in the restaurant’s drive-thru and car park.
Thurrock Council, which took the action following the incident on 18 April 2014, found McDonalds Lakeside had not provided staff with sufficient training to direct traffic.
According to local reports in Thurrock Gazette, the injured employee, aged 17, was on crutches for six weeks after the incident and was forced to give up boxing and his dream career in construction.
Sentencing, Recorder Philip Brook-Smith, fined McDonalds £200,000 plus £26,343.26 to Thurrock Council for breaching section 2(2)(c) and s.33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. McDonalds also paid £1,000 in compensation to the injured member of staff.
McDonald’s said in a statement that: “The incident took place in the car park of the West Thurrock restaurant, and involved a customer vehicle and employee who was assisting the flow of traffic around the car park.
“The safety of both our customers and people is our priority and we have apologised unreservedly to the employee in question for what took place.”
According to the statement, there had been an ‘unusual layout’ for cars visiting the restaurant, which was run by McDonald’s Restaurants Limited and has since been taken over by a franchisee.
Following the incident McDonalds says it immediately took steps to alter the flow of traffic in the car park until permanent ‘structural alterations’ could take place.
“The permanent structural alterations made in September 2014 improved the layout of the car park meaning that none of our employees are required to assist with traffic management,” says the statement.
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