A BOAT company has been fined after an engine hatch closed on a boat builder and trapped him.

RF Composites Limited, based in Fareham, pleaded guilty to safety failings after the incident left the man unconscious and with heart and lung injuries.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that the self-employed worker was looking inside an engine hatch when the hatch closed.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated after the incident on December 10, 2014, at Port Hamble and found that the company failed to ensure that the engine hatch was safe to use.

The court heard that there was no prop fitted to the engine hatch to prevent it from inadvertently closing on the injured person.

The company also forced to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, magistrates’ heard and was fined £15,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said: “The incident was wholly avoidable had RF Composites had in place a safe system of work to ensure the hydraulic engine hatch on a boat was suitably propped, eliminating any possibility of the hatch inadvertently closing on someone.

“I hope this incident will raise awareness in the boat building industry to ensure that when working with powered engine hatches, they should always be suitably propped to prevent them from inadvertently closing.”