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  1. ITV Report

Company fined after mother killed in garage shutter door

Heidi Chalkley Credit: Family photo

An electrical company has been fined after a mother was dragged to her death in the shutter door mechanism of an underground car park in Cambridge.

Social worker Heidi Chalkley, 40, was heading on a night out when she grabbed hold of the rising door after asking her friend: "Have you ever held on to it as it goes up?," an inquest heard last year.

She panicked as her hands got trapped and was pulled into the machinery and crushed on August 14 2016, the hearing in Huntingdon was told.

She died at the scene of multiple injuries.

The underground car park in Cambridge. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the sensors at the top of the door, which should have stopped it, were incorrectly wired and no longer functioned as the door opened.

The HSE said BS Graves (Electrical) Limited had carried out work on the roller shutter door at Ruth Bagnall Court since 2012.

It said this included an inspection a month before the incident, but the company did not check the operation of safety sensors and failed to identify the fault.

BS Graves (Electrical) Limited of Rushmere Close, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty at Peterborough Magistrates' Court to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500.

"This tragic and distressing incident has had an untold impact on all those who knew Heidi. It could have been avoided if the company had ensured employees were suitably trained to inspect the doors and the functioning of the safety sensors."

– HSE inspector Graeme Warden