David Collins, a 31-year-old father of two who worked for Bury firm Spectra Scaffolding, suffered severe injuries to his head, back and leg and is now paraplegic.
Spectra Scaffolding was prosecuted following the incident on November 7, 2008 at a retail refurbishment site at Festival Park, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how Collins was unloading 21ft long scaffolding tubes from the back of a truck using a vehicle-mounted crane.
As he stood under the load operating the crane controls, one of the lifting slings detached from the crane hook, causing the metal tubes, which weighed nearly one and a half tonnes, to fall onto him.
HSE investigators found Collins had not been properly trained or supervised and Spectra Scaffolding had failed to plan the work adequately.
The court also heard that a safety catch on the crane hook was faulty, which led to the scaffolding tubes falling.
Although the company had known about this for some time before the incident, no action was taken to replace the catch.
HSE inspector Lindsay Hope said after the hearing: “Companies that operate lorry-mounted cranes must ensure their operators undertake appropriate, recognised training in all aspects.
“Operators of lorry-mounted cranes must be competent to use the equipment properly and plan safe lifting in variable site conditions.”
Spectra Scaffolding, of Warth Road Industrial Estate, Bury, pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations and was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 costs.