A Laverton North company has been fined $40,000 after a forklift incident resulted in one of its employees needing facial reconstructive surgery.

Australian Paper Recovery pleaded guilty to one charge under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to provide or maintain a safe plant.

The company was not convicted, but was ordered to pay $40,000 plus $5000 in costs in the Sunshine Magistrate’s Court last month.

The charge related to a workplace incident in January 2013 when an unattended forklift rolled into a shallow pit within the company’s Laverton North plant.

An employee climbed into the forklift in a bid to remove it from the pit.

The forklift overturned, squashing the man’s head between the forklift roof and the factory floor.

A truck driver used another forklift to raise the overturned forklift and free the man.

He was taken to the Alfred Hospital. The court heard he has undergone facial reconstructive surgery and follow-up procedures, and has suffered from psychological problems.

WorkSafe declined to comment on the prosecution.