AN engineer who was working on a lift in Ikea did not follow the correct safety procedures, an inquest held into his death has found.

Joaquin Palacios Fernandez, 41, died on October 19, 2016 after being crushed by the hydraulic lift he was working on with his colleague Manuel de Sola.

The inquest, held before a jury at Reading Town Hall, heard how the Spanish nationals, who had been subcontracted to carry out overnight electrical work at the Calcot store, were due to replace an emergency stop button in a lift when the tragic incident happened.

Mr de Sola told the inquest that he and his colleague had agreed on a plan by which the pair Mr Fernandez, who had been an engineer for eight years and had carried out jobs for Ikea in locations around the world, would call the lift to the ground floor and he would disable to emergency stop button. Mr de Sola would then call the lift to the second floor where he would access the roof of the lift using a key to completely isolate the lift. However, when the lift arrived at the second floor, Mr de Sola realised he had left the key in his toolbox in the control room, and went to fetch it.

Whilst he was away from the lift, he heard the doors closing but did not anticipate it would descend until he heard his colleague shout out and he realised what had happened.

CCTV video obtained from the store by Thames Valley Police showed Mr Fernandez working in the pit of the lift shaft, unaware that the lift was descending above his head. A post-mortem examination found he died of traumatic asphyxiation, consistent with the chest being crushed by a large object.

Independent engineer investigator Martin Banasik could find no fault with the lift, and Abi Stinson from West Berkshire Council said that Mr Fernandez was aware of the relevant health and safety procedures as he had signed various documents before carrying out the work, and that isolating the electricity to the lift at the mains would have been safer and ensured it did not move.

Following a three-day hearing, the jury concluded that Mr Fernandez did not follow standard procedure, and entered the pit having not checked that control of the lift had been achieved.

The coroner, Peter Bedford, recorded a verdict of misadventure.