Home Business News Pret a Manger fined £800,000 as an employee was left trapped in a freezer

Pret a Manger fined £800,000 as an employee was left trapped in a freezer

by LLB staff reporter
31st Aug 23 3:04 pm

A worker at the sandwich chain Pret a Manager was left trapped in walk-in freezer for two-and-a-half hours which can go as low as -18C.

As a result Pret a Manger was fined £800,000 at Westminster Magistrates on Tuesday after the company pled guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974.

The member of staff was working at the Victoria Coach Station store when she was left trapped in the freezer on 29 July, 2021.

A fellow worker found her and she was in a “state of distress” and thought she was going to die, she was then treated for hypothermia in hospital.

Councillor and deputy leader Aicha Less said, “The shocking details of this case show a lapse of due care and attention. This incident shows that overlooking basic safety measures can have the most serious consequences.

“We hope the significant fine awarded in court acts to all businesses as a warning, preventing this from ever happening again.

“Westminster City Council will continue to work with businesses to make sure the highest levels of health and safety are consistently maintained and educate staff in safe practice.”

A Pret A Manger spokesperson said, “We are incredibly sorry for our colleague’s experience and understand how distressing this must have been.

“We have carried out a full review and have worked with the manufacturer to develop a solution to stop this from happening again.

“Following the incident, we have revisited all our existing systems and where appropriate, enhanced these processes, and have co-operated fully with Westminster City Council’s investigation.”

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