Fusco Ltd owns two fish and chip shop takeaways with
restaurants, as well as a cocktail bar, in North Yorkshire.
The family-run business started in 1968, when the Fuscos bought
the Royal Fisheries in Whitby. They took over the Quayside and Bar
7 in 1999. Managing Director Carol Fusco now looks after over 70
staff during the busy summer season, including eldest son Stuart
who manages Quayside and his younger brother Adrian who manages
The Fuscos had a close call in early summer 2011, when a fire
broke out in one of the storerooms at Quayside. Fortunately Mentor
was at hand. Carol Fusco and Mentor Health & Safety Consultant
Mark Whigham tell their story.
Carol Fusco, Managing Director, Fusco Ltd
Our staff increased from 20 to over 70, when we bought the
Quayside restaurant in 1999, and it was quite a struggle to
In late spring 2011, we followed our bank manager’s advice and
signed up for Mentor’s Employment Law and Health and Safety
A few weeks later, we had a fire in one of our stock rooms. A
tumble drier in a store room filled with dry products (peas, flour,
curry, gravy mix, paper and cartons) burst into flames.
Fortunately, someone saw smoke and called the fire brigade.
After the fire fighters put out the blaze, we were asked what
fire precautions we had in place. Mentor had just come up with our
new Health and Safety document and that included a fire risk
When the fire investigators looked through our documentation
they were very impressed. They said they wished more companies did
the same, because our paperwork had highlighted problem areas.
The good news is that no-one got hurt. The store room fire was
away from the main restaurant building and didn’t affect the
business at all. Although we lost all our stock, we were able to
stock up from Quayside and carry on regardless.
We’ve since refurbished the store room and haven’t put the
tumble drier back in.
Going through the experience makes you realise it could happen
to anybody and the more cover you get for yourself the better.
I would absolutely recommend signing up for the Mentor service.
It takes a lot of the headache out of trying to get by – it’s far
better to get a specialist in.
Mark Whigham, Health & Safety Consultant, Mentor
I initially carried out a Health and Safety audit of Royal
Fisheries with Adrian, before returning to do a fire risk
assessment in mid June.
As well as discussing that they should check the filters in the
tumble drier (I had previous experience with one catching fire when
I worked in care homes), I recommended that they install an
automatic fire detection interlink between the store room and the
restaurant to highlight a fire starting.
Unfortunately, the tumble drier caught fire when they were in
the process of following my recommendations – causing about £2,000
worth of damage.
I understand that the fire brigade commended the fire risk
assessment, which was great to hear.
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