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Tea urn incident leads to fines for football club and catering manager

The former catering manager of the Barnet Football Club and the organization itself, have been fined £13,000 after an incident where a teenage worker was burned in an accident.

Barnet FC Ltd. and its former catering manager, Allan Collinge, entered a plea of guilty at Hendon Magistrates’ Court to health and safety violations that resulted in a young girl being scalded. The severe injury occurred in a tea hut located at the Underhill ground, when a leaking tea urn containing boiling water was dropped.

The victim, Charlotte Lytton, was 17 years old when the accident occurred in November 2008. She sustained serious injuries to her arm, lower legs and feet.

The court heard testimony that the teenager was getting ready for work in the hut while two co-workers tried to move the urn, which was obstructing a service hatch. When the urn was moved, boiling water leaked out of the unit onto the two young men, who could not hold it. The urn fell onto the floor, resulting in the water being poured onto Ms. Lytton. She slipped and fell while trying to get out of the area, which led to more serious burns.

At the hearing, Barnet FC admitted that as an employer it had failed in its duty to take reasonable measures to protect its employees at Underhill Stadium. The company was fined £6,000. It was also ordered to pay an additional £5,000 because it had also failed to properly determine the potential risk to the health and safety of its workers. The Club’s former catering manager, Allan Collinge, was ordered to pay £2,000, as well as £535 in costs. He admitted to breaching the provisions of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself or others.

Cabinet Member for Safety and Resident Engagement, Councillor David Longstaff, stated: “This is the second health and safety prosecution brought by the council this year which has involved a young person being injured while at work. I hope that these sentences will serve as a powerful reminder to employers about the paramount importance of doing all they can to ensure the safety of staff, and in particular the safety of their younger employees.”

Following the sentencing Charlotte’s father Steve said: “We want to express our relief that Barnet Football Club Ltd has been held to account for the health and safety breaches that led to Charlotte’s injuries. Charlotte was just 17 at the time of the accident, and although her scars are a constant reminder of that day, she is moving forward with her life and wishes to make no further comment at this stage.”