THE owners of the Hale Grill have been prosecuted due to a chef being badly injured after falling through an open cellar hatch.

Gusto Restaurants Ltd, previously known as Living Ventures Restaurants Ltd, was prosecuted for two breaches of the Health and Safety Act, at Trafford Magistrates Court on January 31.

The Court heard that on February 5 2013, a chef fell through an open cellar hatch, which had been left unguarded and unattended during a beer delivery at the Ashley Road restaurant.

The fall left the chef with broken ribs and a badly bruised foot, and his injuries could have been a lot more serious had he not managed to use his arms to stop himself falling all the way into the cellar.

The incident was investigated by Trafford Council’s environmental health officers, who had previously warned the company about the cellar hatch.

It was found that, although the company had identified the need to use restraint chains to guard the area around the open hatch, these chains were not in use on the day of the accident and had not been available in the days leading up to it.

Gusto Restaurants Ltd, pleaded guilty and was ordered by the court to pay a £12,000 fine and £6,150 towards the council’s costs.

The council’s corporate director, Helen Jones, said: “This was a very serious incident which could have had far more tragic consequences.

“The safety risks from using cellar hatches for deliveries in the restaurant and pub trade are well known, and this accident could have been easily prevented if proper protective measures had been put in place.”