THE OWNERS of a hotel in Filey have been fined £5,000 after a 17-year-old employee was left permanently scarred by a commercial rotary iron.
The teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered severe burns to three fingers and had to spend time in Pinderfields Hospital – renowned for treating burns victims – following the incident on May 2 this year at the Downcliffe House Hotel, in The Beach Road.
At Scarborough Magistrates’ Court The Downcliffe House Hotel Ltd, owners of the hotel, pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act and associated regulations.
Following receipt of the accident notification, Scarborough Council Environmental Health Officer Sarah Brown carried out an investigation and found serious faults with the rotary iron which had not been properly serviced nor maintained and was not being operated as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
In particular, a safety micro switch had been disconnected and this impeded the safe functioning of the machine.
Steve Pogson, Health and Community Safety manager at the council, said: “The owners of the hotel showed a complete disregard for health and safety which led to serious injuries and permanent damage to a young person.
“This accident was foreseeable and preventable. It is essential that all employers promote good health and safety practices in the workplace; they have a duty to protect their employees and others who may be affected by the activities they carry out.”
The girl received treatment for full-thickness burns to her fingers. The burns affected the three middle fingers on her left hand and covered the area from the nails to the knuckles.
The incident also caused damage to the nerves and tendons in her fingers and it is thought there could be a permanent loss of feeling and damage to the lower knuckles on all three fingers. The incident has left permanent scarring, the loss of her fingernails and resulted in limited movement to all three fingers.
The court was told the company failed to provide a sufficient risk assessment, a young person’s risk assessment, suitable training and information and exposed a young person to the risks of extreme heat.