LEAMINGTON - -- Leamington mushroom producer Highline Produce has been fined $90,000 after a worker was caught and dragged into a piece of machinery, suffering critical injuries, in Sept. 2018.

Highline Produce pleaded guilty to a provincial offence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Justice Ernest Parsons set the fine in a Picton courtroom and also imposed a 25 per cent victim fine surcharge.

The surcharge goes to a government fund meant to assist victims of crime.

On Sept. 20, 2018, a worker was tasked with cleaning compost which had been knocked of the green feed conveyor. The equipment is an angled conveyor and hopper, which has chain-river cross bars moving material to the top of the flat pan conveyor.

The worker began cleaning the compost from under the conveyor, which was turned off at the time.

The lead hand left the area and started the machine.

The worker then slipped on wet compost. The worker was caught in the machine and dragged by the conveyor, resulting in critical injuries.

Court found the company failed to take reasonable precautions in the incident as there were no guards in place to prevent the worker from being pulled into the moving machine.

Highline Produce grows and sells mushrooms in Leamington and Toronto.