Takeaway bosses have been ordered to pay more than £10,000 for failing to guard a pizza dough roller, putting staff at risk of injury.
Pizza City Ltd, in Preston’s Friargate, was visited by health and safety inspectors who discovered the roller was in use without the appropriate guard in place.
They found that employees were at risk of “serious personal injury”, and seized the pizza dough roller and removed it from the premises.
Preston Magistrates Court heard that when inspectors tried to enter the room, Anjum Shakil of Portland Street, Accrington, a company director, deliberately stood in their way in an attempt to allow an employee time to put the guards on the pizza dough roller.
He was ordered to pay a total of £180 for deliberately obstructing health and safety inspectors.
The inspection took place on July 20, and the takeaway had previously been visited on July 4 and given warnings that the pizza dough roller must be guarded.
Jorge Carrera, prosecuting for Preston Council, said the level of culpability for the company was very high and the use of the pizza dough roller without the guards was a deliberate breach of the law.
Both Pizza City (Preston) Ltd and Anjum Shakil pleaded guilty to the offences.
Mr Heggerty, representing the defendants, said Mr Shakil panicked when he saw the inspectors but said in mitigation that he had not ultimately prevented the inspectors from seeing the pizza dough roller.
Mr Shakil apologised to the court and to the council for the inconveniences caused.
Coun John Swindells, Preston Council’s cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “The council will always act to protect the health and safety of employees.
“Employers that do not heed warnings are likely to face formal action.
“The council would always encourage anyone to cooperate with authorised officers and takes obstruction very seriously.”
Jonathan Cruickshank, senior environmental health officer, said “The council has found a number of takeaways operating pizza dough rollers without guarding.
“The guarding prevents employees’ fingers and hands being drawn into the rollers and being crushed.
“People trapped in pizza dough rollers often require help from the emergency services to be freed”.
The takeaway was fined £9,000 for the health and safety offence, ordered to pay costs of £938 and ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.