A scaffolding company has been fined thousands of pounds after one of its employees died following a fall.

In February 2017, father-of-two David Smith fell 24 feet when scaffolding collapsed at a site in Cricklewood Broadway.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on February 16, Mr Smith and another person were dismantling a scaffold when it collapsed, causing Mr Smith to fall onto the concrete pavement.

'One of a kind' Mr Smith, 38, who had worked for Watford-based Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited for at least a decade, died in hospital on March 4 2017 after suffering serious injuries, particularly to his head.

Mr Smith suffered several strokes while in hospital and his family were told he would be seriously brain damaged if he survived.

The other worker was also seriously injured.

Hillingdon Times:

David Smith

An investigation into the scaffold collapse was launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The investigation concluded this month and found that Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited’s director, Sean Chapple, failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment, plan the work and provide a design for erection and dismantling of the scaffold.

The HSE said Mr Chapple was not knowledgeable about the measures required to do this without putting people at risk, and therefore did not follow the correct measures to ensure safe erection and dismantling of the scaffold.

Wembley Scaffolding Services Limited, of Clarendon Road, Watford, was fined £7,860 and ordered to pay costs of £8,940, after pleading guilty to charges.

Mr Chapple, of Northwood, also pleaded guilty to breaching regulations and was fined £1,000, ordered to pay costs of £11,000 and given a 12-week prison sentenced, suspended for a year.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Saif Deen said: "This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man.

"The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance in order to design and erect scaffolding in a safe manner, to prevent risk to workers using the scaffold.

"The death could have been prevented had the employer acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and to put a safe system of work in place."

Hillingdon Times:

Following an inquest into Mr Smith’s death in 2018, his mother Lorraine Wright said: "Dave was one of a kind. He was an infectious person, who had a huge heart and would do anything for anybody.

"Everybody wanted to be in his company. He would light up the room with his fantastic personality.

"Dave is my son and he was my whole world. I am so thankful and grateful that he chose me to be his mum.

"Our family still cannot believe he is no longer with us. He has left a huge hole in our lives and we are devastated that he will not get to see his children grow up.

"It is difficult not to think that if just a few simple steps had been taken Dave would still be with us today.

"All we can hope for now is that his death was not totally in vain and employers recognise the importance of upholding health and safety standards at all times."