An employee at a food waste management firm suffered crush injuries to his lower body when a stack of bales, each weighting a quarter of a tonne, collapsed on him.
Aleksandras Fomenkouas, 40, was sorting waste in a recycling and processing shed operated by Somerset-based Cannington Enterprises when the incident happened.
Taunton Magistrates heard that Mr Fomenkouas was going through plastic waste in the yard for use in the company’s anaerobic digester, while another employee nearby was moving plastic carton bales with a forklift truck.
Shortly after a bale was removed, the stack became unstable and collapsed on top of Mr Fomenkouas, knocking him to the ground and crushing the lower half of his body.
Cannington Enterprises pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,614.
Cannington Enterprises owns a number of companies, including Cannington Cold Stores, Cannington Bio Energy and Cannington waste management.
Its recycling and waste management arm was set up 15 years ago and is thought to recycle more than 32,000 tonnes of food waste a year.