A food company which packs vegetables for supermarkets has been fined £15,000 after a worker ended up in hospital when hit by a falling crate .

QV Foods Ltd, based in Linconshire, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its factory on 22 May 2009.

Kings Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard that the 43 year-old employee , who has asked not to be named,  was hit by a wooden crate full of  potatoes as she was labelling boxes on the factory grounds.

She  was hit with such force that  she sustained a serious fracture  her right knee and suffered severe bruising to her back. She was hospitalised and was unable to work for several months but has since returned to the factory.

QV Foods Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees. It was today fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,606.

HSE inspector Judith McNulty-Green said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident, but the company failed to make sure work stations were a safe distance from moving vehicles and materials being handled that might fall. Health and safety is about making sure real risks are thought through and control measures put in place so any dangers are properly managed.

“Had the company taken the time to think through a safe system of work, an employee may not have suffered such a painful injury.”