A company director has been jailed after two men fell to their deaths while working on a balcony in Chelsea .
Martin Gutaj, 44, of Ferry Lane, Brentford , was given a 14-month sentence for each death, to run concurrently, while his company must pay more than £3 million after being found guilty of corporate manslaughter charges.
It follows the deaths of workmen Tomasz Procko, 22, and Karol Szymanski, 29, who died while lifting a sofa through the balcony of first floor apartment in Cadogan Square on November 21, 2014.
Gutaj, 44, was found guilty of two counts of failure to discharge a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, contrary to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The company Martinisation London Limited was found guilty of the same two counts in addition to two counts of corporate manslaughter.
Mr Proko and Mr Szymanski, both Polish nationals , had been working at a construction site in Cadogan Square run by Gutaj’s company.
During the course of the day the men were asked to perform a lifting operation at height without supervision and the requisite training.
The victims were not provided with a plan, method statement or risk assessment prior to the task being undertaken, exposing them to the risk of serious harm.
The expectation was for the workmen to use a rope to haul a sofa over a balustrade and into a first floor apartment.
During an Old Bailey trial, which ended with guilty verdicts on May 19, it was heard advice from an experienced and reputable lifting company on how to carry out the process safely was ignored due to time and budgetary constraints.
Both workmen fell after railings on the balcony gave way whilst the furniture was being manoeuvred into premises.
Police were called at 10.04am and officers, paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance attended.
Six others were hurt in the balcony collapse.
After the guilty verdicts earlier in the year, Detective Sergeant Simon Rogers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “Tomasz Procko and Kyrol Szymanski fell to their deaths during the lifting operation which was entirely foreseeable and avoidable.
“Martinisation London Limited and the operation director Martin Gutaj failed in their duty of care to protect the men.
“This was a complex investigation led by the Metropolitan Police Service who worked closely with Heath and Safety Executives over a 30 month period.
“We hope that the verdicts today offer some comfort to the bereaved families who have continued to support the investigation throughout.”
Martinisation was fined £1.2million for each death and £650,000 for breaches of Health and Safety Regulations.
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