Artisan bakery chain Gail’s is to pay £12,000 after a customer fractured her pelvis at the premises.
The woman fell 8ft down a cellar hatch door, which had been left open in the Fulham Road branch.
The London Evening Standard reported that Hammersmith magistrates’ court heard a staff member brought her cakes as she lay seriously injured on the floor of the storeroom. She spent five days in hospital, has difficulty walking, and has been unable to return to work.
In a separate health and safety prosecution last week, Gail’s admitted to failing to protect customers during the incident of April 25 2013.
The hatch had been left open following a delivery.
Prosecutor Sue Obeney, representing Kensington and Chelsea council said staff had ignored the firm’s risk assessment by using the hatch during operational hours.
Mike Atkins, defending Gail’s, said: “The company is extremely sorry. A civil claim has been brought and liability admitted. She will be compensated.”
He said it was a “poor decision” to have the hatch open. Gail’s has installed a new safety barrier, provided more training, and redesigned the bakery so there is no need to access the hatch to get to the store room, he added.
The magistrates fined Gail’s £8,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £3,894, as well as a victim surcharge of £120.
After the hearing, managing director Tom Molnar said: “It was an honest mistake. We took her cakes in hospital and tried to help her as much as possible.”