BIZZIE Lizzie’s in Skipton has been fined £75,000 after members of staff suffered burn injuries from hot fat.

The fish and chips takeaway and restaurant business was sentenced at York Magistrates Court on Tuesday by a District Judge after pleading guilty to one offence.

The business, which has two branches in the town, admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees in relation to an incident involving the changing of hot fat from the frying range at the High Street Car Park restaurant and takeaway more than a year ago.

The prosecution was brought by Craven District Council for an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company pleaded guilty, and District Judge Lower imposed a fine of £75,000, plus costs of £1,980 and a surcharge of £170.

The offence related to an incident on September 26, 2018 when three members of staff suffered burn injuries resulting from an accident.

The accident occurred when fat was being changed from the fryer at too high a temperature and when the store was open, both contrary to industry standards, the court was told.

It was caught on the shop’s CCTV cameras and showed the fat being pumped out into a bin while customers were being served in the shop. The bin collapsed spilling hot oil.

One member of staff, who at the time had worked for the company for 17 years, suffered burns to his lower legs and did not return to work for several weeks, until the middle of the following November. Of the two others, one took a short time off work, while the other applied had to apply cold water to the affected area over the following days.

The judge gave credit to Bizzie Lizzie’s for its guilty plea and because it had taken steps following the incident to mitigate further risks.

He also gave the business credit for its cooperation in the investigation, that it was a reputable company and because it had no previous health and safety convictions.

However, the penalty reflects the seriousness of the injuries caused, the impact on staff, the number of people exposed to the risk of harm and the lack of proper training, supervision, compliance with procedures and absence of recent or updated training records for such a procedure.

Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said after the sentencing: “The council takes breaches of health and safety legislation very seriously.

“It’s vitally important that businesses protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees.

“This prosecution was pursued in the public interest due to the risk of harm to employees and members of the public.

“The Health and Safety Executive has clear information about safety during the emptying and cleaning of fryers and all businesses in this sector should follow these guidelines.

“We hope that all businesses will take note of the importance of health and safety legislation, and the wellbeing of their employees.”