Hungry Jack’s breaches work health and safety laws


Hungry Jack’s has been fined AUD$90,000 after failing to call an ambulance to treat one of its employees who fell in an open vat of cooking oil while at work. Magistrate Michael Ardlie, in his judgement, stated “as an employer it was responsible for the employee’s safety and it should have arranged for proper medical treatment.”

The incident occurred in June 2012 when the injured employee, Dylan Robeson, was working the graveyard shift when asked to filter cooking oil from the deep fryers. After filtering two fryers, Robeson slipped and fell into the open top of the mobile unit, which was filled with hot oil. The temperature of the oil at the time ranged between 135C and 149C, leaving Robeson with third degree burns to 10 per cent of his body.

Hungry Jack’s pleaded guilty to one count of violating occupational health and safety laws. The company admitted that an external machine was required to filter the oil because the filtering component of the deep fryer was broken. Also, even though the external machine had a lid, it had to be kept off in order to be used, exposing the employee to a greater risk of harm.

Although the staff at the time helped Robeson by running cold water over his injuries, the restaurant manager failed to call an ambulance. Eventually Robeson called his father on his mobile, who then came to the store to take his son to the hospital. The magistrate expressed that “the first and immediate call ought to have been to an ambulance … Hungry Jack’s cannot discharge its duty of care to the father of the employee.”

As a result of the incident, Hungry Jack’s has committed to spending nearly AUD$5.3 million to replace all current fryers across Australia with self-filtering ones.

As a part of Australian work health and safety laws, employers owe a primary duty of care to provide and maintain a safe work environment. Also, employers have a duty to prepare, maintain and implement an emergency plan for each workplace. This plan must outline procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency. This includes medical treatment and various means of notifying emergency services.

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Source: The Advertiser