Peruvian authorities fined McDonald’s Corp´s Latin America franchisee Arcos Dorados USD 250,000 for violating six safety and health laws following the deaths of two teen employees in restaurant kitchens.
The teens, Alexandra Porras Inga (18) and Gabriel Campos Zapata (19) died on December 15 while cleaning the kitchen of a McDonald’s in Pueblo Libre, in the Lima province.
Police said Porras Inga suffered an electric shock from one of the soda machines. Her co-worker, Campos Zapata, tried to help her but was also shocked in the process.
“We have found six very serious infractions, one of which was not communicating (the death) in a timely manner,” said Juan Carlos Requejo, head of the National Superintendency of Labor Inspection (Sunafil).
In a statement, the Lanour Ministry’s regulating body, Sunafil, proposed that Arcos Dorados operations company be fined up to 845,760 soles, approximately 250,000 over the deaths.
The incident has highlighted poor working conditions at restaurants, in terms of both the facilities and the equipment used, “specifically the soft drink dispensing machine.”
The Sunafil report said the company already knew about the soda machine but “took no action.” On December 21, Arcos Dorados confirmed that a faulty soda machine had caused the accident.
On the other hand, the Labor Minister Sylvia Caceres has brought some changes to the business health and safety regulations. Under the current system only one inspection is conducted in the companies, but as per the latest amendment as many spot inspections would be necessary.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s stores across Peru would remain closed until the investigation is over, said Arcos Dorados.
(With input from agencies)