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POORLY SECURED CLADDING PANELS FELL FROM BUILDING

Contractor fined after pensioner seriously injured and others put at risk

Brendan Flynn Construction Limited has been prosecuted after poorly secured panelling fell from a building under refurbishment and injured two members of the public in November 2009.

The company was sub-contracted to carry out carpentry work on a residential project in Crawley. Magistrates were told how the cladding being installed was not secured effectively causing it be “blown off the building” to the pavement below.

The company failed to use the correct nails to safely secure the cladding product. One piece struck a pensioner on the ankle, causing serious injury. The over 80 year-old woman was hit so hard that her foot was nearly severed. A further section of cladding struck a male pedestrian causing bruising from wrist to shoulder.

A number of vehicles in a nearby supermarket car park and busy road were also struck.

Failed to take time to ensure safety

Brendan Flynn Construction Limited, of Watford Road, Northwood, Harrow, pleaded guilty of contravening section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (8 June). The company was fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,760

HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said:

“Brendan Flynn Construction Limited used a specialist cladding product but did not take the time to ensure workers were using the correct fittings.

It is basic practice for a carpentry firm to get this right. The incident had horrendous consequences, which could have been far worse. However, that will be little consolation to the injured parties.

This case serves as a warning to other companies that HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies who fail to follow the correct safety procedures.”

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