The agency worker, from Lincoln, had to wear a neck brace for three months after fracturing neck vertebrae in the fall, last December. He also dislocated fingers on his left hand and broke his left wrist.

European Metal Recycling Ltd, based in Warrington, Cheshire, was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,454 in costs as a result of the accident at one of its depots in Lincoln.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching regulations to ensure the safety of people working at heights.

The man was injured while repositioning fridge and freezer units on a trailer at the EMR’s Beevor Street depot.

He was standing on a fridge unit while attempting to reposition another unit on top of it when he lost his balance and fell ten feet to the ground.

The Health and Safety Executive has warned that companies need to be more aware of the risks their employees face while working at heights.

Judith McNulty-Green said: “Three million people work on or near vehicles as part of their regular job.

“Getting on and off a vehicle to carry out loading or unloading, and working at height on the vehicle, are often viewed as incidental to the main job.

“Because of this, the risks involved may not be properly considered by either workers or their managers.”

She added: “This incident could have been avoided, and a man might not have been seriously injured if the company had sufficient procedures in place.”

European Metal Recycling Ltd was unavailable for comment.

Last year, 45 people died and more than 3,000 suffered serious injuries after falling from heights at work.

Kate Martin

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