Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Restaurant fined thousands after child's hand caught in mincing machine

The machine had been modified with an angle grinder to remove an in-built safeguard

Hero for Restaurant fined thousands after child's hand caught in mincing machine
Gokyuzu in Walthamstow town centre (credit: Google Streetview)
By Victoria Munro 10 May 2022

The director of a Walthamstow restaurant has been fined more than £70,000 after an eight-year-old boy suffered life-changing injuries.The director of a Walthamstow restaurant has been fined more than £70,000 after an eight-year-old boy suffered life-changing injuries.

The tragic incident took place in Gokyuzu in Walthamstow Town Centre on 7th April, 2019, after the boy was able to make his way into the kitchen.The tragic incident took place in Gokyuzu in Walthamstow Town Centre on 7th April, 2019, after the boy was able to make his way into the kitchen.

The restaurant's mincing machine had been modified with an angle grinder, removing the in-built fixed guard, which meant the boy was able to get his hand trapped inside.The restaurant's mincing machine had been modified with an angle grinder, removing the in-built fixed guard, which meant the boy was able to get his hand trapped inside.

Environmental Health Officers who visited the restaurant following the accident discovered a total absence of any written risk assessments, training or other safety procedures. Environmental Health Officers who visited the restaurant following the accident discovered a total absence of any written risk assessments, training or other safety procedures.

At Thames Magistrates' Court, restaurant director Veysel Yavuz pleaded to guilty to failing to ensure dangerous machinery had required safety measures in place and failing to ensure the safety of employees. At Thames Magistrates' Court, restaurant director Veysel Yavuz pleaded to guilty to failing to ensure dangerous machinery had required safety measures in place and failing to ensure the safety of employees.

He was fined a total of £70,000 and ordered to pay more than £16,500 of Waltham Forest Council's legal fees.He was fined a total of £70,000 and ordered to pay more than £16,500 of Waltham Forest Council's legal fees.

Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “This incident has left a young child with life-changing injuries and all because Gokyuzu Walthamstow failed in their health and safety obligations by removing the safety guard from their mincing machine.Deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “This incident has left a young child with life-changing injuries and all because Gokyuzu Walthamstow failed in their health and safety obligations by removing the safety guard from their mincing machine.

“This case and the punishment handed down should be a reminder to all businesses of their duties to customers, staff and visitors - we will prosecute those that fail in their duties.“This case and the punishment handed down should be a reminder to all businesses of their duties to customers, staff and visitors - we will prosecute those that fail in their duties.

“It is often forgotten that improvements in Health and Safety law and practice have saved many serious injuries and constant vigilance by those responsible is needed to ensure compliance.”“It is often forgotten that improvements in Health and Safety law and practice have saved many serious injuries and constant vigilance by those responsible is needed to ensure compliance.”