A Newcastle restaurant owner has been fined £32,000 after admitting providing unsafe sleeping accommodation above his restaurant that was used by staff.
Angur Miah, who owns the Rumana Restaurant in Blakelaw, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to 16 offences when he appeared before Newcastle magistrates today.(13 March) He was fined £2,000 for each offence and ordered to pay £5,215 costs.
The court heard that fire crews were called to a fire at the property on 20 February 2011 and identified a number of fire safety breaches that led them to request the attendance of a specialist fire safety officer. The conditions that were discovered were so serious that a prohibition notice was issued preventing Mr Miah from using the upstairs rooms as sleeping accommodation. A subsequent inspection by fire safety officers identified that Mr Miah ignored this prohibition notice and continued to place his staff at risk.
Area Manager for Community Safety John Baines, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "There is a growing trend for owners of restaurants to provide sleeping accommodation above their businesses for staff. This is fine, providing the necessary safety measures are in place to protect staff.
"A fire risk assessment must be undertaken to identify the risks to the staff and the accommodation must have an appropriate standard of fire safety measures, systems and adequate escape routes. By failing to ensure these fire safety provisions are in place, some business owners are putting people's lives at risk.
"We always strive to work with businesses to ensure the safety of their staff and members of the public, but where necessary we will not hesitate to take legal action against those who do not and continue to flout the law."