News Criminal Regulatory 5th Sep 2023

Members of chambers act for both parties in prosecution of Pret A Manger

Pret A Manger was fined £800,000 for a health and safety offence, relating to an incident when a member of staff became locked in a small walk-in freezer in a remote kitchen at Victoria Coach Station, following the failure of the door release mechanism.  The member of staff was hospitalised with suspected hypothermia having been found by a colleague after spending over two hours at temperatures of -18C while dressed only in jeans and a t-shirt.

The company pleaded guilty to a single offence contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974, following an investigation by Westminster City Council which revealed that the company had failed to assess the risk of staff becoming entrapped in temperature controlled environments.  The court recognised the company’s excellent health and safety record and the promptness with which it responded to the incident and took steps to remedy the breach.

Richard Heller acted on behalf of Westminster City Council.

Jonathan Laidlaw KC acted on behalf of Pret A Manger.

Media Links:  Independent | BBC News


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