The company that runs the KFC branch at Coffs Harbour in NSW has been ordered to pay a fine of $60,000 after a worker suffered severe burns.
The District Court of NSW heard that during a morning shift in November 2016, a 20-year-old staff member climbed up a ladder to clean the canopies above open pots that were heating up cooking oil.
While he had followed proper procedures, the store suffered an electrical blackout while he was up on the ladder. As the staff member tried to come down, his left leg slipped and plunged into the hot oil.
The young worker was taken to hospital suffering third-degree burns and eventually received a skin graft. He has since suffered from mobility issues.
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“The incident occurred at a workplace with a number of young and vulnerable workers who have limited work experience and may not understand the risks of what they are doing or know how to protect themselves from injury,” SafeWork NSW executive director Tony Williams said.
“By law, managers or supervisors of young workers have a legal obligation to protect young workers from incidents such as this which are entirely preventable.”
The court ruled last month that QSR Pty Ltd, the franchisee that operates KFC Coffs Harbour, must pay $60,000 as a penalty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
QSR Pty Ltd may still appeal the decision.
Williams said that companies that hire young people have a responsibility to train and educate their workforce and provide supervision and monitoring.
The ruling comes after a Melbourne company was fined $30,000 after a worker lost a thumb in industrial equipment.
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