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June 9, 2011

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Falling panel nearly severed pensioner’s foot

Two members of the public were injured by falling cladding panels because the wrong type of nails had been used to secure them to a building, a court has heard.

Brendan Flynn Construction Ltd was contracted to carry out carpentry work at a house in Crawley, West Sussex. The company did not safely secure cladding on the building, and on 3 November 2009, a number of the panels were blown off during strong winds.

One of the panels fell and struck a pensioner on the ankle, nearly severing her foot. Another panel struck a man who was walking past the property and he sustained bruising between his wrist and shoulder. The falling panels also damaged several vehicles that were parked in a nearby supermarket car park, as well as passing vehicles on the road outside the building.

HSE inspector, Russell Beckett, revealed that the firm did not use the correct nails to secure the cladding. He said: “Brendan Flynn Construction 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.”

Brendan Flynn Construction Ltd appeared at Crawley Crown Court on 8 June and pleaded guilty to breaching s3(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £8000 and ordered to pay costs of £14,760.

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11 years ago

A complete disregard for bog-basic planning, training, supervision and monitoring. The company got off lightly!

This kind of incident drags the reputation of construction and construction workers down and down.

11 years ago

Agree they did get off lightly for what was such a basic mistake. I bet on top of the unfortunate injuries there was probably a fair bit of damage to vehicles. Lets hope they got invoiced for the damage.