Veolia has been fined £450,000 after baled waste fell on a worker at its Castle Donington site in Leicestershire.
Leicester Crown Court heard how the 41-year-old employee was sweeping up around the base of stacks of baled waste in November 2013 when a stack collapsed on him.
He sustained serious head and brain injuries including a fractured eye socket, back and skull.
The court was told by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that the company had not identified the risks of inconsistant stacking and de-stacking of baled waste, or have simple controls to manage it.
On 18 December, Veolia ES (UK) Limited, of Pentonville Road, London, was fined a total of £450,000, with costs of £11,676 after pleading guilty to an offence under Regulation 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Alison Cook said: “Veolia relied upon a flawed and inadequate generic risk assessment.
“Veolia even failed to implement the few inadequate controls they had listed. As consequence workers were exposed over a number of years to the risk of being struck by falling bales of waste.
“This prosecution sends a clear message to large organisations that exposing workers to foreseeable risks over a sustained period of time will not be tolerated.”
A Veolia spokesperson said: “We deeply regret this incident and the injury suffered by our colleague at our facility on Trent Lane, Castle Donington.
”As a company we treat health and safety as the highest operational priority. We have since reviewed all relevant safety procedures and have taken the necessary steps to ensure the highest safety standards during the stacking of bales at all of our sites.”