Cambridgeshire

Cambridge car park shutter death: Company fined £25,000

Heidi Chalkley
Image caption Heidi Chalkley died after being crushed to death in a car park shutter's mechanism

An electrical company has been fined over the death of a woman who was crushed by a car park shutter door.

Heidi Chalkley, 40, was drawn into the shutter mechanism as she held on to it as it opened in Cambridge in 2016.

An investigation found the sensors at the top of the roller shutter were incorrectly wired.

BS Graves (Electrical) admitted Health and Safety breaches and was fined £25,000 at Peterborough Magistrates' Court.

Ms Chalkley, a social worker, was going out when she grabbed hold of the rising shutter at Ruth Bagnall Court in Coleridge Road and asked her friend Susan Gilmore "Have you ever held on to it as it goes up?", an inquest heard.

"She then reached up, held the shutter and it lifted her off the ground," Ms Gilmore said.

She told an inquest her friend "started to panic as her hands got caught in the barrier" and that her body appeared "folded".

Image copyright Google
Image caption Heidi Chalkley died in the parking area of a block of flats in Cambridge

Ms Gilmore dialled 999 and a neighbour, who saw Ms Chalkley hanging 3ft (90cm) from the ground, tried to support her body, but she died at the scene.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said BS Graves (Electrical) had maintained the shutter at the flats since 2012.

It said an inspection was carried out on the shutter one month before Ms Chalkley's death, but the operation of safety sensors was not checked and the fault was not identified.

BS Graves (Electrical) of Rushmere Close, Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500, the HSE said.

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."

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