An electrical firm has been fined after a mother was dragged to her death in the faulty shutter door of an underground car park.
BS Graves (Electrical) Limited pleaded guilty to a health and safety offence after Heidi Chalkley died in Cambridge in August 2016.
The 40-year-old social worker was heading for 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.
Ms Chalkley panicked as her hands became trapped and she was pulled into the machinery and crushed, the hearing was told.
She died at the scene and a post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as multiple injuries, noting fractures to her ribs, spine, arms and jawbone.
No alcohol or drugs were recorded in her system and an inquest jury reportedly concluded she died through misadventure.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Ms Chalkley had 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.
An investigation by the watchdog found sensors at the top of the door – which should have stopped it – were incorrectly wired and no longer functioned as the door opened.
BS Graves (Electrical) Limited had carried out work on the roller shutter door at Ruth Bagnall Court in Cambridge since 2012, the HSE said.
The Cambridgeshire-based firm did not check the operation of safety sensors during an inspection a month before Ms Chalkley’s death and failed to identify the fault, the investigation found.
The company pleaded guilty at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,500, the HSE said.
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.”