Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

May 10, 2016

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McCain Foods fined £800k for safety failings

Frozen food giant McCain has been fined £800,000 for safety failings after an engineer nearly lost his arm in an industrial accident at their Whittlesey factory.

Peterborough Crown Court heard how 34-year-old employee Adam Regan was examining a conveyer belt on August 21, when his arm became trapped in the machinery. He had been attempting to check the condition of the head roller on a bypass conveyor. While doing this his arm became entangled in the machinery and his arm was almost severed. Although his arm was saved, he now has limited movement in his hand.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on the 21 August 2014, found that the conveyor did not have the correct guards fitted. A risk assessment of the machine by the company failed to recognise the danger.

An internal investigation carried out following the accident, raised a number of other issues relating to guarding on other machines.

Judge Sean Enright heard the company has a very good safety record, and had acted very quickly to fix the issues raised in the report.

He also said a risk assessment of the machine, carried out in 2013, was flawed as it had not taken into account changes to the factory floor layout.

McCain Foods (GB) Limited of Havers Hill, Eastfield Scarborough, 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.

In mitigation the company’s defence said that despite Mr Regan only being employed by the firm for a short amount of time, McCain had given him full sick pay during his time off work, and had offered counselling to Mr Regan, and other employees who were affected by the incident.

He also said the firm had fully accepted responsibility for the accident, and offered their apologies to Mr Regan.

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