Gökyüzü restaurant fined £70,000 after boy’s hand trapped in mincer

The Walthamstow branch of a well-known Turkish restaurant chain has been given fines totalling more than £70,000 after an eight-year-old boy suffered life-changing injuries when his hand became trapped in a mincer.

The incident happened in the kitchen of Gökyüzü’s restaurant in Selborne Walk, East London, on 7 April 2019.

Environmental health officers investigating for Waltham Forest Council found that the in-built fixed guard to the mincing machine had been removed with a mechanical angle grinder, which allowed the child’s hand to became trapped in the cutting mechanism.

They also discovered the restaurant had no written risk assessments, records of training or other safety procedures.

At the hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court, Veysel Yavuz, the director of Gökyüzü, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure the safety of employees and one count of failing to ensure dangerous machinery had the required safety measures in place. A third charge of failing to control access to the kitchen was dropped.

Deputy leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clyde Loakes, said: “This incident has left a young child with life-changing injuries – and all because Gökyüzü Walthamstow failed in their health and safety obligations by removing the safety guard from their mincing machine.

“This case and the punishment handed down should be a reminder to all businesses of their duties to customers, staff and visitors – we will prosecute those that fail in their duties.”

In total, Gökyüzü and Yavuz were fined £70,000 with costs of £16,557.27 awarded to the council.


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