Stonegate Pub Company Ltd, the fourth largest managed pub company in the UK, has been prosecuted for health and safety breaches at the Slug and Lettuce in Colchester. The company has been fined £100,000, with costs of £3,792.28 and a £170 victim surcharge.
Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how an employee, who was preparing to unload a drinks delivery broke several fingers when an open but unsecured internal cellar hatch door fell back onto the employee’s hand.
An accident report filed after the incident led to an incident investigation by Colchester Borough Council’s Health and Safety Officer. The visiting officer found that gas struts originally installed to enable the safe opening and closure of the hatch door had been removed. Neither these nor an alternative method to prevent the doors from falling back once opened had been replaced.
The investigation also found that the company did not have suitable and sufficient risk assessments in place regarding the safe delivery of goods at the premises. In addition, the cellar hatch was not adequately guarded when open to prevent people from falling down the 2.38m cellar shaft.
Since the council’s involvement with the case, Stonegate Pub Company Ltd have worked alongside the council to ensure that all health and safety risk assessments are in place and are followed.