Company director given suspended sentence after worker crushed to death

A company director has been given a suspended prison sentence after an employee lost his life at a site in St Helens.

Roger Gibbons, the director of RM Gibbons Ltd, was given a 16 weeks custodial sentence, which was suspended for 12 months. His company was also fined £40,000 following the death of Uldis Sankans, who died after being crushed between a girder and the basket of a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) while working for RM Gibbons Ltd.

The 30-year-old, from Latvia, had been operating the MEWP at a site in St Helens when he was fatally crushed on 8 November 2019.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that. RM Gibbons Ltd failed to properly risk assess the operation of the MEWP and failed to provide its employees with sufficient training.

HSE guidance states hazards such as entrapment, overturning, falling and collisions should be identified within a risk assessment and suitable control measures put in place while operating a MEWP. More on this can be found at: Construction – Mobile elevating work platforms health & safety (

  • RM Gibbons Ltd, of Whiteleys Lane, Lathom, Ormskirk, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £9,424 in costs at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on 30 May 2024.
  • Roger Gibbons, Director of RM Gibbons Ltd, Delph Drive, Burscough, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 33(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by virtue of 37(1). He was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and was told to complete 140 hours of unpaid work at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on 30 May 2024.

HSE inspector Mike Lisle said: “This incident could easily have been avoided by simply identifying the risks and putting in place appropriate control measures and ensuring employees have been suitably trained.

“Companies should be aware that HSE take fatal accidents seriously no matter the size of the company and will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

This prosecution was brought by HSE enforcement lawyers Matthew Reynolds and Alan Hughes, and supported by HSE paralegal officer Hannah Snelling.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.