On Thursday 28 April, a case investigated by Thanet District Council’s Public Protection Team was heard at the Folkestone Magistrates’ Court, relating to an incident in August 2021. It involved members of staff at Jewson Builders Merchants Yard in Margate. One employee received life-changing injuries while another received deep cuts and lacerations.
Officers from the district council investigated the incident, serving two prohibition notices and three improvement notices under health and safety at work regulations. The decision was taken to prosecute the company for offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Jewson is part of a larger company, Saint Gobain Building Distribution Limited. The company entered an early guilty plea to the charge under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and a sentencing hearing took place on Thursday 28 April 2022 at the Folkestone Magistrates’ Court. The victim who sustained the most significant injuries was in attendance and a moving witness impact statement was read out to the Court.
The District Judge handed down a fine of £600,000 which was reduced to £400,000 due to the guilty plea and awarded full costs of £23,094 to Thanet District Council.
Cllr Jill Bayford, Cabinet Member for Housing and portfolio holder for Environmental Health, Thanet District Council said:
“Thanet District Council will investigate and take enforcement action against employers who don’t take health and safety at work seriously, especially where this results in the injury of others. We feel that the fine handed down was fair and hope that this will bring some closure to all those who were affected by the accident.”