Company Fined After Worker Loses Leg In Fish Tank Fall

A Middleton man lost his leg after a fish tank fell off a forklift truck and landed on him, Manchester Crown Court heard in a six-day trial that concluded on December 9th.

The unnamed 59-year-old broke both legs in the accident at work, and his right leg needed to be amputated below the knee as a result of his work-related injuries. His left leg required a pin, and the victim also requires prosthetics. As a result of this workplace accident, he has not yet been able to start working again.

Alloy Bodies Ltd was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £30,000 with costs of £56,621, after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found this work had not been carried out, supervised or planned safely.

The trial heard that the firm’s bespoke services department had developed a fish tank for one of the business’ directors. This two-metre-wide tank weighed 200 kilograms and was being loaded into a van on June 1st 2010 when the workplace accident happened.

The HSE found the tank was not properly secured to the pallet before it was lifted and that workers had struggled to put it in the van because of its large size.

HSE Inspector Alex Farnhill said that although the activity was unusual for employees, it had not been planned in advance. The employee’s “terrible injuries” could have been prevented had the company secured the tank to the pallet and used a larger vehicle instead of a van, he added.

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