McCain fined £800,000 after man’s arm nearly severed in Whittlesey factory

McCain Foods factory
McCain Foods factory

McCain Foods have been fined £800,000 by a crown court judge after a man nearly lost his arm in an industrial accident at their Whittlesey factory.

The food giant was given the fine after pleading guilty to two breaches of health and safety regulations following the incident at the plant in August 2014.

Catherine Rabaiotti, prosecuting, said engineer Adam Regan was examining a conveyer belt on August 21, when his arm became trapped in the machinery.

She said he had climbed temporary scaffolding to get a closer look at the machine when it became trapped.

Mr Regan’s arm was left hanging on by the tendons, and he lost five pints of blood.

He has now returned to work, but the court heard he was still suffering nerve problems.

The court was told a guard should have been in place on the machine to prevent people getting injured by getting trapped - and an internal investigation carried out following the accident, a number of other issues relating to guarding on other machines was also raised.

Prashant Popat, defending, said 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.

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.

But he said the company should have made the scaffolding secure to prevent engineers getting too close to the dangerous part of the machine.

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.

The firm was also ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.