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Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food temporarily closed for workplace safety check

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries Workplace Slip 

Jamie Oliver’s project ‘Ministry of Food’ in Rotherham has been temporarily closed down after concerns regarding health and safety. Rotherham Borough Council has closed the centre after a member of staff fell on a broken step. The missing stair nose had been repeatedly reported to bosses, but nothing had been done to fix it. The council said that “a full survey of the premises” is now under way. 

Reactive rather than proactive

The GMB union are concerned that an investigation only began because of the accident, not as a mechanism to prevent accidents. GMB union spokesman, Lee Simpson, said that complaints regarding the step had been voiced “several times”. This resulted in a formal complaint being made surrounding the accident, which he believes could have been prevented. He continued: “The GMB firmly believes that the course of action that has been taken is reactive rather than the sensible proactive approach [the council] usually takes with issues of health and safety”. Mr Simpson added that the investigation also revealed a missing glass cover on a fire alarm and outdated risk assessment paperwork.

Since the ‘Ministry of Food’ opened in July 2008 it has taught more than 10,000 people how to cook. The ‘Ministry of Food’ website has published a statement saying that the council and the Jamie Oliver Foundation are working to reopen the shop “at the earliest opportunity”. The council has successfully repositioned the seven affected staff members to temporary positions.   

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