McCain fined £16,500 after worker burned by 160-degree oil

By Fiona Barry

- Last updated on GMT

McCain fined £16,500 after worker burned by 160-degree oil

Related tags Risk

McCain, the producer of frozen potato products, has been prosecuted in the UK and fined £16,500 after a 62 year-old worker was burned by oil heated to over 160 degrees Celsius.

Harvey Hopwood, the health and safety manager at PAS Grantham, a facility belonging to McCain Foods in Lincolnshire, suffered 10% burns to his shoulder, upper arms and neck.

The incident happened when Hopwood knocked a pipe connected to a pressure gauge, which broke off and released oil over his upper body. He had climbed between guard rails to check on jet washing of an oil tank.

Hopwood was off work for over a month and has left the company since the accident in November 2012.

‘Foolhardy’ behaviour

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that PAS Grantham had broken the law by deciding to fill out a risk assessment for the cleaning operation after the work had been done instead of before.

Judith McNulty-Green, HSE inspector, said:

"The whole point of a risk assessment is to ensure the risks associated with a particular task are considered and measures put in place to mitigate against them in order to keep workers safe.

"To carry out the work first and then write the assessment afterwards is foolhardy to say the least.​”

Quick-thinking colleagues

PAS Grantham was fined £16,500 and ordered to pay £571 in costs after pleading guilty to breaking the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The HSE inspector said that other workers had come to the injured man’s aid:

"Mr Hopwood was extremely fortunate not to be more seriously injured. If it hadn’t been for the incredibly quick actions of colleagues who dragged him to an emergency shower this incident may have had a very different outcome.​"

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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