A recycling company has been fined £20,000 after a foreign student fell four metres through a chute on a waste transfer site.

Priyank Malik, from India, was working part-time at the Country Waste Management site in Beddington Lane, when the incident happened in April last year.

The 22-year-old business studies student from India, suffered minor injuries when he fell through the chute into a waste-storage bay below.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who said the company failed to put measures in place to protect their employees and others working at height.

Last week, Westminster Magistrates Court heard One 51 Recycling ES UK (South) Limited, trading as Country Waste Management, had received advice from the HSE about its responsibility to control the risks of working at height in 2010.

After Mr Malik's incident an improvement notice was served on the company, requiring it to take sufficient measures to safeguard workers from falls from height.

Inspectors said if the company had applied a risk-based approach, identifying hazards, assessing risks and implementing robust controls to protect employees at the site, Mr Malik's accident could have been avoided.

As well as the £20,000 fine, the company were ordered to pay additional costs of £6,485.

HSE Inspector Clare Hawkes said: "The failure to take a systematic, risk-based approach to managing health and safety led to an employee’s fall of four metres that could have led to far more serious and even fatal injuries."

Country Waste Management declined to comment.