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Firm fined £25,000 after Cambridge woman crushed to death

A company has been fined £25,000 after it failed to properly inspect the safety of a garage door just a month before it crushed a Cambridge woman to death.

Social worker and mum Heidi Chalkley, 40, died when she held onto the shutter at the entrance to an underground car park, got entangled in the roller and was fatally injured.

Peterborough Magistrates’ Court was told the incident happened on August 14, 2016 at the underground car park at Bagnall Court, Cambridge.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the safety sensors at the top of the door were incorrectly wired and no longer functioned as the door opened.

BS Graves (Electrical) Limited, the court was told, had carried out work on the roller shutter door since 2012, including an inspection only a month before the incident.

However, the company did not check the operation of the sensors and failed to identify the fault.

The firm, of Rushmere Close, Ramsey, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500.

Speaking after the 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.”

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