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Jewson fined £400k for safety failings

6 May 22 The parent company of builders’ merchant Jewson has been fined £400,000 after an accident involving a forklift truck last summer.

Folkestone magistrates heard how, in August 2021, an employee of Jewson in Margate received life-changing injuries while another received deep cuts and lacerations when a load of metal mesh sheets toppled from the forks of a lift truck.

Officers from Thanet District Council’s public protection team investigated the incident, served two prohibition notices and three improvement notices. It then decided to prosecute the company for offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Jewson is part of 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 28th April 2022 at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court.  The victim who sustained the most significant injuries was in attendance and a witness impact statement was read out to the Court.

The district judge handed down a fine of £600,000 that was reduced to £400,000 due to the guilty plea,  and awarded full costs of £23,094 to Thanet District Council.

Cllr Jill Bayford, Thanet District Council cabinet member for housing and environmental health, 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.”

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