Two partners at a Dover firm are fined £10,000 each after Martin Sankey fractures skull falling through an unprotected opening

Two partners at a building firm in Dover have been fined £10,000 each after an accident left a teenager with a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.

Peter Swinbourne and Nicholas Rawlins, who traded jointly as Dover Building and Property Maintenance based at in Dover, were prosecuted under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 following the incident which took place in Folkestone Road, Dover on 2nd October 2006.


The Health and Safety Executive said Martin Sankey, 16, from Dover was working for the company to gain experience while on a college bricklaying course. On his second day he was asked to clear some materials from the second floor of the development, on the site of a former hotel.

As Mr Sankey was on the second floor, he blacked out and fell through the hole of a lift well that was under construction. He fell almost 5.9 metres to the ground floor, suffering a fractured skull, a brain haemorrhage, facial and leg injuries and extensive bruising.

The HSE said that if a basic temporary guard had been constructed around the lift well, work could have carried on in the area unhindered as well as protecting workers like Mr Sankey who were passing through the area.

Swinbourne and Rawlins both pleaded guilty to one breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at yesterday's hearing. The two men were fined £10,000 each and ordered to pay £1,290 each in costs.