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Family pleas for safety standards after father killed by scaffolding collapse in Cricklewood

PUBLISHED: 18:06 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:06 12 December 2018

David Smith with his son Charlie and daughter Tia

David Smith with his son Charlie and daughter Tia

Archant

A much loved father-of-two from Cricklewood plunged to his death from a defective scaffolding rig, an inquest heard.

David Smitih with his children Charlie and TiaDavid Smitih with his children Charlie and Tia

David Smith suffered a catalogue of injuries, including brain and internal injuries, when he fell 24 feet from the structure in Cricklewood Broadway on February 16 last year.

He was airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery but died on March 4 surrounded by family and friends.

His heartbroken family are urging companies to make sure their health and safety standards are maintained.

The 38-year-old self employed contractor, who was father to son Charlie, 18, and daughter, Tia, 16, had worked for Wembley Scaffolding Services for some 13 years.

David Smith with his daughter Tia and son CharlieDavid Smith with his daughter Tia and son Charlie

An inquest at North London Coroner’s Court on November 26 heard that police investigated whether to pursue corporate manslaughter charges but decided not to proceed.

The structure gave way as it contained defects and nobody involved with putting up for taking it down had suitable industry qualifications, the court heard.

Mum 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.

“He would light up the room with his fantastic personality.

David Smith died when a scaffolding rig collapsed under him in CricklewoodDavid Smith died when a scaffolding rig collapsed under him in Cricklewood

“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.

Charlie added: “My dad was the best old man that anyone could wish for.

Scaffolding collapse in Cricklewood (Pic: Roy Hutchinson)Scaffolding collapse in Cricklewood (Pic: Roy Hutchinson)

“He was protective of me and my sister and was always there for us when we needed him. He was a generous person and loved to spend time with us. He was a funny guy and often made me laugh.

“We were his world and he was my world. I have lost my best friend, my partner in crime and my soulmate.”

Charlotte Dowson, from work place injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell, said: “The inquest has been an incredibly difficult time for David’s family as they listened to the evidence as to how he was fatally injured.

“We now call on all businesses to ensure that health and safety standards are enforced at all times to help protect workers.”

A jury recorded a narrative verdict.

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