Ramsey electrical company fined £25,000 after mother dragged to death in garage door

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

Social worker Heidi Chalkley (40) was heading on a night out in Cambridge 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.

Social worker Heidi Chalkley, 40, was heading on a night out when she grabbed hold of the rising door and was lifted off the ground. Picture: SWNS

Social worker Heidi Chalkley, 40, was heading on a night out when she grabbed hold of the rising door and was lifted off the ground. Picture: SWNS

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.

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, 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, the HSE said.

The HSE said Ms Chalkley pressed the button to open the roller shutter door, held on to the grille as it rose and became trapped as it wound around the roller, fatally crushing her.

After the court hearing HSE inspector Graeme Warden said: “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.”