Creagh Concrete Products has been fined £1m and ordered to pay £47,521.08 in costs after a man died at a site in Nottingham.
Stewart Ramsay, 24, was working for the company at its Thurgarton Lane site in Hoveringham when he suffered fatal head injuries on 15 March 2017.
Ramsay was trying to fix a problem while he and his colleagues were using a metal grab to unload Spantherm, a concrete building product, from some trailers.
His head became trapped in the jaws of the grab after a rope connected to the locking lever snapped.
Despite the rope being tied in a double-knot, the locking mechanism released the jaws of the grab as Ramsay pulled on it, causing fatal injuries.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Creagh did not have a safe system of work in place for the use of the grab.
It also found that it had not carried out a risk assessment to identify risks for its use. Both the grab and a forklift truck being used at the time were in poor condition and neither should have been in service at the time of the incident.
Creagh pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in that it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all its employees at Nottinghamshire Crown Court on 5 April.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Amandip Dhanda, said: ”This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man.
“Stewart’s death could easily have been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place.
“The work equipment being used at the time of the incident should not have been in use, and the employer would have known this had they effectively followed their own health and safety systems.”