The mum of teenager who did work experience at a Raymond Blanc restaurant is furious after he was ordered to repeatedly press an electrical switch in a faulty fuse box.
Brandon Davis, 14, was supposed to be waiting tables at posh Brasserie during a two-week work placement, according to his mum Melissa Hamilton, 37.
But a leak behind the fuse box caused the switch to trip “every five minutes”, cutting the lights in a corridor to the customers’ loos.
So bosses enlisted Brandon to stand next to the cupboard repeatedly “overriding” the switch for more than two hours.
He was even ordered to press it with a pen so wasn’t given an electric shock.
Furious Melissa has accused managers at Brasserie Blanc in Milton Keynes of putting her son’s life at risk and refused to let him return to the placement.
But manager Jakub Tulacz, 32, said it was “absolutely fine” – despite admitting the fuse was tripping due to a water leak behind the box.
Single mum-of-three Melissa said: “You wouldn’t see Raymond Blanc’s 14-year-old son stood there with a Biro touching that box.
“In fact none of these multi-millionaire restaurateurs would ever have their child in that situation.
“He didn’t see anything wrong with it, he came home from his day and said that it was boring because he’d just spent hours turning on an electric switch.
“But it’s a complete breach of health and safety. My son could’ve blown up or anything.
“He could have been thrown across the room of that restaurant.
“Every time he went to push the switch with the biro he saw a flash of a spark.
“They said the electric box had become broken because there was a leak.
“Every time the box went off he had to go into a big electrical cupboard and press the button with his biro.
“I just can’t imagine what could have happened to him, I was petrified.
“When the electrician came and looked at the box he noticed that it was sparking and he told him that there’s no way he should be touching that.
“It’s knocked his confidence, he put trust in these people.”
The two-week experience placement was set up by Brandon’s school, St.Paul’s Catholic School in Milton Keynes.
Brandon said he spent his first day of unpaid work cleaning the floor of the restaurant but spent the afternoon of his second day pressing the fuse box switch.
Melissa claims her son visited the 40-watt box in the restaurant’s electrical cupboard every five minutes for over two hours on Tuesday (12/1).
The lights which led to the customer toilets were affected and Brandon claims he was made to stand outside the restrooms near the cupboard to press the switch.
School cleaner Melissa added: “We spent around £60 on his work experience, on a shirt and trousers for him, as well as his bus pass.
“He was looking forward to it and it’s such a shame.
“He should never have been allowed anywhere near that box.
“I started with a complaint to the school, I was so mad. He could’ve been killed.
“All we’ve got from the managers is that they are sorry and that they will pay his expenses.
“I went to bed worried sick that night about what could have happened to him and went straight to the school to make a complaint the next day.”
Manager of the Brasserie Blanc restaurant, Jakub Tulacz, 32, admitted he asked Brandon to press the switch.
He said: “The electric fuse box was absolutely fine, I did check with the electrician and there was no danger there.
“I tried myself ten times and there was nothing wrong.
“The fuse was tripping out because there was a water leak on the other side of the wall, but the box was absolutely fine.
“I asked him myself if when the lights went out he could go and turn them back on again.
“It’s a normal fuse box. There was new leak inside the fuse box.
“I rang the electricians in the morning who came at 10am but they couldn’t get into the other door to have a look in the room, they came back around 2pm.
“It’s was absolutely fine, all he had to do was turn on a light, there was no sparks or anything coming from it.”