McCain chips

McCain has been fined £800,000 for a safety failing that led to an employee nearly losing his arm at the frozen food manufacturer’s plant in Whittlesey, near Peterborough.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how the unnamed 34-year-old worker was attempting to check the condition of the head roller on a bypass conveyor, used to move potatoes, when his right arm became entangled in the machinery and was almost severed. Although his limb was saved, he now has limited movement in his hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident found the conveyor did not have the correct guards fitted, and risk assessment of the machine by the company had failed to recognise the danger.

McCain pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £800,000 with costs of £12,831.51.

“As a responsible food manufacturer, McCain takes all matters of health and safety extremely seriously,” said a spokeswoman for the supplier. “Regrettably, an engineer was injured in the incident in the course of an inspection of a conveyor but has since recovered and returned to work.

“Ensuring the safety of employees is paramount, and the court recognised that McCain is dedicated to continuous health and safety improvement as part of its strict operational procedures,” she added.