1. I make this second supplementary statement in order to comment on the allegation in the Re-Amended Defence on page 8 at paragraph 7 in relation to Burnley. A. head of security, my department was asked to investigate this incident. Throughout the case I liaised with our outside solicitors who had conduct of the proceedings, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, and I was present at the hearing before the Burnley Magistrates on 7th January 1991.
2. In 1990 Burnley Borough Council issued a Summons against McDonalds arising out of an accident at McDonalds' Burnley Restaurant on 1st September 1990, when Lynette Chadwick, a recently recruited crew member, sustained injuries to her hand requiring stitches when she tripped and fell cutting her hand on the metal guard of a mop head.
3. The Prosecution was brought under Section 33(1)(a) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 claiming that McDonalds as an employer had failed to discharge a duty to which it was subject by Section 2 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, namely to ensure, so far as it is reasonably practical, the health and safety at work of all it's employees and, in particular failed to provide and maintain systems of work that were, so far as was reasonably practical, safe and without risks to health.
4. There were no witnesses to the accident. According to Miss Chadwick she lost her footing on the staircase which she claimed was wet. It was however part of Miss Chadwick's duties to ensure that if there were any spillages and areas such as staircases were wet that they should be mopped up and apparently the accident took place when she was about to deal with a minor spillage on the back staircase.
5. At the hearing of the Summons on 7th January 1991, the case was dismissed and costs awarded to McDonalds out of central funds. The Magistrates found that the restaurant had a proper and safe system for guarding against accidents. This involved a regular travel path by the managers. The travel path will involve the manager of the restaurant regularly patrolling all areas specifically to watch out for rubbish obstructing the passageways and spillages which will be cleared by the crew members. The crew members who are allotted to the floor area are also supposed to act as a backup and Miss Chadwick was one of those personnel.
6. The Court found that she had been provided with proper equipment, namely a mop, a bucket with warm soapy water and that she had been properly trained to use hot water and detergent which would be non-slip and when used in conjunction with hot water would dry quickly. The Magistrates conclusion was therefore that the accident was not to be blamed upon McDonalds.
7. At the hearing two managers gave evidence that they had inspected the area shortly before the accident as part of their normal patrol and in addition the restaurant supervisor gave evidence that new non-slip tiles had been recently installed at the restaurant as part of a general programme to improve standards nationwide.
24 May, 1994|
Appeared in court|
exhibits: Not applicable/ available
transcripts of court appearances: