Coatbridge firm fined following death of young employee from Denny

David Westwater
David Westwater

A company which admitted negligence leading to the death of a young worker has been fined £24,500.

David Westwater was 22 when he died in 2012 after the accident at B.D. Pinkney in Coatbridge.

The Coatbridge yard where David Westwater tragically died in 2012

The Coatbridge yard where David Westwater tragically died in 2012

He had only worked with the firm for 10 days when the tragedy took place.

David was driving a forklift truck when it toppled over, throwing him out but he died when the vehicle landed on him.

However, he should never have been driving the forklift as he hadn’t received the correct tuition.

At Airdrie Sheriff Court managing director Basil Pinkney (69) had previously admitted a series of gross breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act between August 13 and 28, 2012, which led to the Denny man’s death.

Prosecutor Louise Beattie said: “They failed to provide instruction, training and supervision to certain employees, in relation to the requirement for restraint belts to be worn and in relation to the hazard created by carrying out sharp turning manoeuvres when operating forklift trucks.”

Sentencing Pinkney last Thursday, Sheriff Morag Galbraith said: “As far as this case is concerned the court acknowledges this was a tragic and devastating event for Mr Westwater’s family.

“No fine can, or should be, able to value the life of any person. It is not appropriate to impose a fine which would put you out of business or put at risk the future employment of your workers.”

She reduced the fine from £35,000 to £24,500 as Pinkney had pled guilty at an early stage.

However, this week David’s devastated mum, Elaine Smith (42) said nothing would ever bring back her beloved eldest son.

She said his brothers Callum, then only 18 and who witnessed the tragedy, Kai (12) and sister Ciarra (10), along with her husband Derek (41) and the reminder of the family, were trying to rebuild their lives.

Speaking from their Denny home, she said: “That man has been fined but every night he can go home to his children and grandchildren. We will never get David back.

“We miss him every minute of every day but have to go through the rest of our lives without him and that is very hard to bear.

“He was a boy in a million and we don’t have him anymore.”