“Firm Sentenced After Worker Loses Leg in Fish Tank Fall” - Asons Solicitors Comment

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According to the HSE, a Manchester-based manufacturing firm has been ordered to pay nearly £90,000 in fines and costs, after an employee suffered from two broken legs, after being crushed by a giant fish tank. (1)

The 59-year-old, from Middleton, broke both his legs as a result of the incident, forcing doctors to amputate his right leg below the knee, due to the severity of his injuries. (1)

Alloy Bodies Ltd, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE,) after an investigation found that the accident at work had not been planned, supervised, or carried out safely. (1)

The Manchester Crown Court heard how the company's bespoke services department had built a two metre wide fish tank, an order made by one of the firm’s directors. (1)

The 200 kilogram fish tank was being loaded into the back of a van on 1 June 2010, when it fell from the forklift truck, landing on the worker. The court heard that the fish tank had not been secured to a pallet before being lifted, and that its size made it difficult for the workers to manoeuvre it onto the van. (1)

In addition to having his right leg amputated below the knee, the injured employee also had to have a pin fitted into his left leg. He now has a prosthetic limb, and he is still unable to return to work, more than three years on from the incident. (1)

Commenting on the incident, Thomas Fairclough, Asons Executive, stated that;

“These injuries have occurred because Alloy Bodies Ltd did not do enough to protect theirs employees from the risks involved with moving an item of this size, despite being fully aware of the risks involved.

“Fortunately, although severe, these injuries were not fatal. These injuries were sustained because Alloy Bodies Ltd failed to plan the move in advance, and inappropriate equipment was provided.

“An accident at work, like this, could have easily have been avoided, had the correct health and safety procedures been implemented, in this case, they weren’t.”

Alloy Bodies Ltd, of Clifton Street, Miles Platting, was fined £30,000, and ordered to pay £56,621 in costs, after being found guilty of a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. (Court reference: HS09122013)(1)

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alex Farnhill said:

“This was an entirely preventable incident which resulted in an employee having to have part of his leg amputated. His whole life has been affected by the shortcomings of this company.

“No effort was made to plan the work in advance, despite it being a highly unusual activity for employees at the factory. The firm should have considered the risks and found a safe way of moving the fish tank.

“If it had been secured to a pallet and loaded onto a larger vehicle, rather than a van, then the terrible injuries the worker suffered could have been avoided.”

If you, or someone you know, have suffered, then you may be able to make an accident at work claim. Asons Solicitors deal with work related personal injury claims, and industrial diseases such as asbestosis and vibration white finger, you can contact them on: 01204 521 133 or you can fill out their claim form at http://www.asons.co.uk.

1.    Firm sentenced after worker loses leg in fish tank fall - press.hse.gov.uk/2013/firm-sentenced-after-worker-loses-leg-in-fish-tank-fall/- HSE December 2013


About Asons Solicitors:

Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons.co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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Thomas Fairclough
Asons Solicitors

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