Simon Brook, 50, of Well Lane, had been trying to fix a blockage in the 28-year-old machine on the morning of August 17, 2012, when he fell in and became trapped.
Bradford Crown Court heard how Mr Brook, who was described by his widow Diane as a happy, friendly, family man, had to have his legs amputated at the scene, but he died two days later despite the efforts of the doctors and nurses at the Leeds General Infirmary.
Gwyn Davies McTiffen Limited, which operated the recycling plant on Bradford Road, pleaded guilty in June this year to one offence of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act by failing to ensure the safety of Mr Brook and other employees when they were required to operate and clear blockages in the baling machine.
An inquest last year heard that it was a common practice for blockages to be cleared using a rod.
Prosecutor Ben Mill, for the Health and Safety Executive, told Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC that the accident occurred despite advice being given in 2002 and 2011.
The court heard that although improvements had been made to another more modern baling machine at the firm’s Uttoxeter site in 2011 the method being used at Batley was “inherently unsafe”.
Mr Mills said the accident was entirely avoidable and it would not have happened if the measures implemented at Uttoxeter been in place.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC described the incident as “an accident waiting to happen” and said the baling machine as incredibly dangerous if not handled with extreme caution.
The judge noted that after the incident prompt steps had been taken to remedy the situation, but he said that cut both ways.
“It simply underscores how easy it would have been for a responsible, careful employer to have prevented this death,” he added.
“What makes this case so serious is that this machine was so self-evidently powerful, and if not treated with great respect by all concerned, lethal.”
In addition to the £80,000 fine the company was also ordered to pay £40,000 costs.
The firm will have five years to pay the total sum.