The heartbroken father of a teenager who died in a forklift accident has described his son as his "right hand man".

Zachariah Richardson - known as Zach - died after being crushed by a forklift truck while working on an industrial site at a farm in Shipdham, near Dereham on October 24, 2020.

An inquest into his death held last week concluded his death had been accidental, but heard he had been left to work unsupervised, despite being just weeks into the job.

Following the case, his father Kevin Richardson, 56, paid tribute to Zach.

He said: "He was just a brilliant boy for such a young age. He was huge in the gaming world, loved his motorcycles and was a very solid hand at DIY.

"He was like my right hand man and would always be willing to help me with jobs around the house.

"I had been teaching him up for years and he was really going places in the world of construction."

Eastern Daily Press: Zachariah Richardson regularly helped his father with DIY tasksZachariah Richardson regularly helped his father with DIY tasks (Image: Richardson family)

Zach was the fourth oldest of six boys in the family and also had four sisters.

Mr Richardson added: "We all interacted with each other as a huge family and were very close and the loss still hurts now.

"I still remember the day the police came to tell us what had happened. He was late coming home so I was all ready to give him a telling off, but the police arrived three hours after it happened. It hit us all incredibly hard.

"We received so many messages from his friends after it happened, but because of restrictions at the time could only have our immediate family at the funeral. I really hurt for them, and for him, that they couldn't be there.

"We still feel that hurt as a family every day - it doesn't get any easier."

Mr Richardson, from Boston, Lincolnshire, said his son's first job was at Sports Direct "hanging up clothes" but did not find this fulfilling so jumped at the chance to try something new.

He said: "Zach didn't think the work was manly enough so saw this advert and thought he'd give it a go. He flew through his training and was really proud of himself.

At the conclusion of the week-long inquest, senior coroner Jacqueline Lake raised serious concerns about the health and safety response of the Lincolnshire Firewood and D. D. Dodd and Sons, the company Zach was working for at the time.

A spokesman for the company insisted after the hearing that they had co-operated fully with the investigations following Zach's death.

However, Mr Richardson was critical of how the company responded after the tragic accident.

He said: "I was really disappointed with their comments [after the inquest]. We have not received so much of an apology since it happened and were not sent any flowers for the funeral or anything.

"Our solicitors had little to no communication throughout and the fact it took nearly two years to get to the inquest made it impossible for us to get any kind of closure.

"I see a Lincs Firewood van drive past our house every day which doesn't help either.

"I do owe a huge thank you to our solicitors, Fieldfisher, who were a truly outstanding source of support for us when nobody else would listen."

Senior coroner Jacqueline Lake is due to publish a report to prevent future deaths after criticising how the company had responded to the accident.

She said: "I have heard nothing to suggest that any action has been taken since the incident, so I am not satisfied any has been."

Following the inquest, a spokesman for Lincs Firewood Ltd said: "Zach was a well-liked and valued employee. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. "

The company declined to comment further.