Charity to shell out nearly �20,000 after woman suffers burns

A CHARITY will have to shell out nearly �20,000 following an accident where a woman suffered burns to her face, neck and upper body.

Magistrates were told last week that officers from North Somerset Council’s food and safety team carried out an investigation into safety failings at Flowerdown House in Beach Road after the incident.

The woman had a flashback from a gas oven range at the premises, run by the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), in June.

Officers found there was no routine in place for maintaining or servicing the gas appliances in the building.

As well as for that offence, the association also pleaded guilty to three other offences of failure to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees, failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and failure to ensure effective communication within the organisation in relation to health and safety matters.

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Magistrates at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges fined RAFA �7,000 for the offences and the charity was ordered to pay costs of �12,304 and a victim surcharge of �15.

North Somerset Council executive member for food and safety, Peter Bryant, said: “The risks associated with gas are well understood and include the risk of fire, explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning.

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“By failing to service and maintain the gas appliances in the kitchen the employees were exposed to a higher degree of risk than is acceptable.

“While magistrates accepted that the failure to maintain was caused by oversight, all employers must fulfil their gas safety obligations to their employees by ensuring that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe-registered engineer.”

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