Company fined £400,000 after employee suffered life-changing injuries in Jewson yard accident

Sentencing took place at the end of last month

A fine of £400,000 has been handed to Jewson Builders Merchants parent company after an accident at the Margate site left one employee with life-changing injuries and another with deep lacerations.

Thanet council’s Public Protection Team carried out an investigation following the incident in August 2021. The team served 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 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.”


  1. Please correct the typo, the Health and Safety Act(GB) was enacted in 1974, not 1984 as per your article.

  2. Cllr Jill Bayford may think TDC will enforce H&S law when obvious and serious risks to life are reported but this is not the case.
    Bretts HGV’s barreling along the port road? At speed, which they often are, shaving by customers of the many hospitality outlets is an accident waiting to happen.
    What action taken? None.
    H&S law requires risk mitigation when harm is foreseeable.
    Is it that TDC wait until harm has been caused before they act, then flooding us with their crocodile tears and false sympathy?
    Westcliffe Mansions another TDC showing. Residents exposed to lead dust over many weeks as well as risks from the appalling construction site management.
    Cllr Jill Bayford should look at the facts! TDC are woefully under-resourced to conduct competent enforcement. There’s also good reason to doubt the competence of some officers, or their managers.

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