The accident occurred on 10 November 2001 when the warehouse was being cleared of stock. According to the sentencing report, Hung Nguyen Huu and two other men were filling a despatch order to be filed that morning, the report said.

Huu was directing a forklift driver to lift four 1.9t packs of glass. While the forklift was loading the packs of glass, they tipped forward and fell on him.

The company normally lifts and moves these glass packs with an overhead crane. But the crane had been isolated a few weeks before and was not available, according to the document.

Although a safer forklift was available, it can move only one pack at a time, the document said, so the men decided to use the larger forklift to save time.

The court found that the company “failed to arrange for the provision of plant suitable for moving glass in circumstances where the overhead crane was isolated and some of the glass suitable to fill orders was single strapped in bundles of four endcaps,” the document said.

In the sentencing document, Judge Michael Bourke said: “The circumstances that existed called, in my view, for particular vigilance ensuring that the unplanned movement of hazardous material such as these very weighty packs of glass be carried out with a view to employee safety.”

Pilkington plead guilty and was found guilty on two charges.

Judge Bourke said that the failure of the company “although serious, was not born of long-term, systematic or flagrant disregard for worker safety.” He also said that the company has undertaken remedial action since the accident.

Pilkington employs 350 people at the DA3 warehouse at Greens Road, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia and 1,600 in Australia and New Zealand.

The County Court of Victoria carried out the sentence in July.