Business Slapped With $1,000,000 Fine

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

( – A local British government has fined Pret a Manger, a U.K.-based food and drink chain, with a close to $1 million fine following a work safety incident where one employee was trapped in a walk-in freezer.

The incident occurred in July 2021, when a female employee had been trapped in a store’s walk-in freezer and was unable to leave the freezer for a couple of hours. The Westminster Council revealed that the chain has been given 28 days to cover the £800,000 fine.

The large fine came after the chain entered a guilty plea following the council’s investigation which showed that they did not have a “suitable risk assessment for employees working in temperature-controlled environments.”

The Westminster City Council stated in their press release that the employee had been trapped in a walk-in freezer which was set at around -18 degrees for two hours before one of the other store employees had found her. The incident had taken place in the Pret store near Victoria Coach Station. A source revealed that ice had caused the freezer door to malfunction.

While trapped in the freezer, the employee used a cardboard box in order to block the ventilation from blowing out more cold air. Her entrapment caused her to suffer from hypothermia, and she was medically treated for her condition after being found.

A Pret spokesperson, in a statement to FOX Business, stated that they had investigated the incident and have put new revised processes in place for all their existing systems to stop such incidents from occurring again.

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