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Firm fined after cladding nearly severs pensioner's foot

A subcontractor has been ordered to pay almost £23,000 after a piece of falling cladding struck a pensioner and almost severed her foot.

Brendan Flynn Construction was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £14,760 costs by Crawley Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations.

The Harrow-based firm was sub-contracted to carry out carpentry work on a residential project in Crawley.

The court heard how the cladding the firm was using was not effectively secured, resulting in it being blown off the building to the street below.

One piece struck a woman in her eighties on the ankle and another hit a passing man causing bruising from wrist to shoulder.

A number of vehicles parked near by were also struck during the incident in November 2009.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecution 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.”

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