Wrong nails cause carnage

Published:  09 June, 2011

HARROW: A construction firm has been sentenced after poorly secured panelling fell from a building under refurbishment and injured two passers-by.

Brendan Flynn Construction Limited was sub-contracted to carry out carpentry work on a residential project in Crawley.

Crawley Magistrates' Court heard how the cladding the firm was using on Peglar House in the borough was not effectively secured, which resulted in it being blown off the building to the pavement below.

One piece struck a pensioner on the ankle, causing serious injury. The woman, who was in her eighties, was hit so hard by the cladding it almost severed her foot. Another piece of cladding hit a passing man causing bruising from wrist to shoulder.

During the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, the court heard how a number of vehicles in a nearby supermarket car park and busy road were also struck on the same day, 3 November 2009.

HSE told the court that Brendan Flynn Construction had failed to use the correct nails to safely secure the cladding product.

HSE Inspector Russell Beckett 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.

"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."

Brendan Flynn Construction, of Watford Road, Northwood, Harrow, today 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 £8000 and ordered to pay costs of £14 760.

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