National chain store Wilko has been fined £2.2m after a worker was crushed by a metal cage and left paralysed.
Corisande Collins, 23, was pinned beneath a metal cage full of paint while she was working at a store in Leicester in 2013.
Ms Collins, who was working part-time while studying for a degree, now uses a wheelchair.
Leicester Crown Court heard the company admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of its employees.
Ms Collins, from Glenfield, had just completed the first year of a degree at Northampton University and had taken work at the Beaumont Shopping Centre branch.
She was pulling a roll cage overloaded with 230kg (507lb) of paint out of a lift when it toppled on her, the court heard.
The court heard the prosecution described it as a “high culpability case” as there was no risk assessment for the lift or the use of the roll cages, as well as “inadequate training and supervision”.
Ms Collins has said the injuries would not stop her achieving what she wanted in life.