A national cinema chain must pay out £12,000 after two of its employees suffered electric shocks caused by a faulty popcorn machine.

The Cineworld Cinema in Didsbury, Manchester, was ordered to pay compensation after failing in its duty of care to employees. One worker suffered a dangerous electric shock from the popcorn machine as he switched it off. The machine was found to have a missing panel which meant a live circuit board was left exposed, posing a massive risk to those using the machine.

The company then failed further, by switching off the WRONG machine, which lead to a second employee suffering from an electric shock which made his arm ‘go stiff’ and caused muscles spasms. The popcorn machine was located besides a slush drinks machine with damp conditions, increasing the risk of serious electrical shocks.

The Didsbury cinema complex has been convicted of breaching health and safety laws, after it pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to ensure the welfare of an employee at work.

Electric shocks can be extremely serious, sometimes even resulting in death, and employers have a duty of care to make sure that their employees are protected at all times from the risks of electrocution. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a voltage as low as 50 volts causes a current to flow that can block the electrical signals between the brain and the muscles. This may have a number of effects including:

  • Stopping the heart beating properly
  • Preventing the person from breathing
  • Causing muscle spasms
  • Causing electrical burns

Therefore, it is imperative that businesses do all they can to ensure the safety of their employees who carry out their work around electrical equipment.

Freeclaim Solicitors are specialist personal injury lawyers with over 30 years’ experience of helping employees who have suffered an accident at work. As an employee, you cannot be penalised for claiming compensation following a workplace accident. All businesses by law must have insurance which covers them for employee accidents in the workplace. If you win your work injury claim, it is not your employer who pays; your damages will be paid by the insurance company.

If you have suffered an accident at work due to faulty work equipment, you can call us free on 0800 612 7340 – we’re open 24 hours a day. Or simply fill in your details online, and one of our specialist accidents at work team will call you back.