Pret A Manger, a popular sandwich chain, has been slapped with a hefty fine of £800,000 after an incident where an employee was trapped in a walk-in freezer.
The event occurred at the company's Victoria Coach Station location on July 29, 2021. The female employee, dressed only in jeans and a t-shirt, was stuck in the freezer for two and a half hours.
During this time, she tried to keep warm by moving around but eventually began to feel unwell and experienced restricted breathing, along with a loss of sensation in her thighs and feet.
After being discovered in a distressed state by a colleague, she was treated for suspected hypothermia.
The company pleaded guilty to an offense under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The case was investigated by Westminster Council's health and safety team, which found that Pret A Manger lacked a suitable risk assessment for employees working in temperature-controlled environments.
The company has since apologized and promised to take measures to prevent such incidents in the future.