The incident, on 27 February 2014, occurred at Northcot Brick Limited’s site at Station Road, Blockley, Gloucester.
Stroud Magistrates’ Court heard that a 45-year-old worker sustained serious injuries to his right leg, with the partial loss of two toes, after either stepping onto or falling onto a recently-installed machine that breaks up clay.
A risk assessment had identified that the machinery required guarding or barriers, but these were not yet put in place.
Northcot Brick Limited was fined £18,500, plus costs of £7,500, after pleading guilty to a safety breach.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ann Linden said: “This incident would not have happened if simple precautions such as putting up a barrier or guard had been in place.
“Safeguards cannot be relaxed because a machine is being commissioned or tested.”