Arrow Recycling has been fined £160,000 after an employee was crushed by 400kg of falling cardboard.
Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court was told that Parvez Ahmed, 49, spent 10 days in a coma after the incident at Arrow’s site in Smethwick, West Midlands, in April 2016.
He suffered a cracked skull and a brain haemorrhage.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to establish a safe way to stack bales. This resulted in unstable and heavy bales which eventually fell.
Arrow Recycling of Premier Works, Smethwick, pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,917.
After the hearing HSE Inspector Mahesh Mahey said: “This incident highlights the need for employers to devise and implement safe systems of work in relation to storage of baled materials.
“If the company had safe systems of work in place Ahmed would not have been seriously injured.”
Arrow Recycling has been contacted for comment on this story.