A worker broke three toes after a forklift truck reversed into him while he was loading a removal lorry.

The 58-year-old man, from Braintree, suffered the injury during a loading operation at Pickfords, in Polecat Road, Cressing.

Removals company Pickfords was fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to breaching workplace regulations at Colchester Magistrates’ Court last week.

The worker’s left foot was forced into the steel toecap of his boot as a result of the impact.

He suffered a dislocated upper foot as well as bruising in the incident, which happened on April 9 last year.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Pickfords after an investigation found the company did not have sufficient procedures in place to keep pedestrians away from forklift trucks.

The victim was only able to return to work in March, 11 months after the incident, and has to wear a special support in his show to help him walk correctly.

Magistrates were told the forklift truck also had a broken reversing alarm, which had not been working for more than a year, when the incident happened.

As well as being fined, Pickfords was ordered to pay costs of £1,415.

After the case, HSE inspector Keith Waller said: “This was an entirely preventable injury caused by Pickfords’ failure to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at their premises.

“The risks to pedestrians when they’re near to operating forklift trucks are very serious, but also well documented.

“There is no excuse, therefore, for companies to neglect safety.

“Pedestrians, whether they are employees or not, must always be kept separate from operating forklift trucks through a safe system of work that is clear and well adhered to.”