Prosecutions

Cinema operator fined after worker burnt with oil

Reading Cinemas Management Pty Ltd operates movie cinemas including Gold Class cinemas where food and beverages are served. The kitchen had three deep fryers.

Employees were responsible for cleaning the fryers, usually at the beginning of a shift, before they were turned on. Generally, the supervisors or managers were also expected to troubleshoot and try to fix the fryers, programmed to heat oil to 180 degrees Celsius, if they malfunctioned during a shift. 

On 28 July 2018, a worker saw an error message on one of the fryers. He unplugged the heating element from its socket and then tried to move the oil vat in the fryer to re-position the heating element to plug the fryer back in. He lost his grip and the hot oil splashed onto his hands, forearms, thighs and right lower leg. He received hospital treatment and has undergone multiple skin grafts to his legs.

The company failed to reduce the risk of burns by providing and maintaining a system of work which allowed access to the internal chamber of the fryer only when the oil had cooled. It also failed to provide the necessary instructions and training to enable employees to troubleshoot issues with the fryers.

Reading Cinema management pleaded guilty and was without conviction fined $20,000 plus $4,008 in costs.

To check for more Victorian prosecutions before the next edition, go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.  

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