McCain Whittlesey worker nearly lost arm in incident, court hears

The McCain factory
The McCain factory

A maintenance worker at McCain’s Whittlesey factory nearly lost his arm in an industrial incident, a court has heard.

The incident happened at the factory in August 2014, when work was taking place on a conveyer belt used to transport potatoes on the work line.

The male worker’s arm became trapped in the machinery, and he had to be rushed to hospital, where he needed treatment to save his limb.

On Wednesday representatives from McCain appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court charged with three counts of breaching health and safety regulations.

Mrs Bainbridge, representing the Health and Safety Executive, said: “This is a very serious case, and we see not suitable for summary trial.

“One of the employees was doing checks of the conveyer belt when his arm got trapped, causing significant injury.

He was very lucky not to lose his arm - he only avoided amputation as he was able to get to hospital quickly and get treatment.”

Ms Henny, representing McCain, said: “We would like to express our sincere regret and apologise for the incident and the injuries caused.”

John Sutton, head of health and safety for McCain, and Geoff Dennis, the Whittlesey plant manager, were both in court for the short hearing.

The court was told there was no indication of plea at yesterday’s hearing, but a plea was expected to be made at the next court appearance.

Mrs Bainbridge said McCain should retain full credit if guilty pleas are entered at the next hearing.

The court was told McCain has an annual turnover of £400 million.

The case was deemed too serious to be heard by magistrates, and was sent to Peterborough Crown Court, where there is a greater range of sentencing powers available.

A pre -trial hearing will take place at the court on Wednesday, March 2.