Basingstoke Magistrates' Court was told that Poligrat UK employee Keith Brown, 51, was disposing of waste cleaning chemicals. He poured caustic pearl granules into the intermediate bulk container (IBC) used to store the chemicals to help neutralise them.
A chemical reaction occurred and the IBC became unstable and its contents erupted over Brown. He fell to the floor and his safety glasses blew off, resulting in alkaline burns to his eyelids and corneal ulcers. The worker's legs were also burned and grazed.
The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) investigation into the 13 February 2015 accident found the company's process for chemical disposal was not suitably or sufficiently risk assessed.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Johnson said: "The use of an IBC as a reaction vessel was wholly inappropriate -¦ They are not designed for use as a chemical reactor. Other safer reasonably practicable options were available, such as using a waste management company to remove and safely dispose of the chemicals."