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Gloucester restaurant fined for health and safety breach

The manager of a Gloucester food outlet has been found guilty of failing to comply with health and safety laws which led to an employee becoming trapped overnight in a walk-in chiller.

In a case brought by Gloucester City Council on Monday 2nd November, Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard that the incident happened late one evening in December 2014 at the Subway food outlet in Gloucester's Kings Walk, involving a female lone worker.

The woman had needed to go into the walk-in chiller but when she tried to get out she found the handle to release the door was not working.

She became trapped in the chiller where she remained all night until she was discovered when a colleague opened the store the next morning.

In court the case found that health and safety had been breached. In particular, workers had known that the handle was defective and it had been reported to the manager, but it had not been repaired or replaced. 

Gloucester City Council brought the case against, CM Ventures Ltd, which operates the Subway branch in Kings Walk.

CM Ventures Ltd was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,700 towards Gloucester City Council's costs, a further £250 for legal costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

Cllr Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods said: "We want to make sure that everyone is safe when they're at work in our city. In this case there was a failing to comply with health and safety and if simple repairs had been made the incident would have been avoided. The manager had been made aware of the faulty door handle but had not taken any action to put things right."

The city council regularly inspects premises and investigates the causes of any accidents reported to them. For more information visit: www.gloucester.gov.uk/handsatwork

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