A company director has been convicted and his company found guilty of corporate manslaughter after two men fell to their deaths when a balcony collapsed in Chelsea .
Martin Gutaj, from Brentford , and his company Martinisation London Limited, were convicted at the Old Bailey on Friday (May 19), following the deaths of Tomasz Procko, 22 and Kyrol Szymanski, 29 .
The men died while lifting a sofa through the balcony of first floor apartment in Cadogan Square , on November 21, 2014.
The court heard safety measures had been ignored due to time and budgetary constraints.
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 was found guilty of the same two counts, in addition to two counts of corporate manslaughter.
On the day of their deaths, they had been asked to use a rope to haul a sofa over a balustrade and into the apartment without supervision and the requisite training.
The court was told the victims, who were from Poland, were not provided with a plan, method statement or risk assessment prior to the task being undertaken, thereby exposing them to the risk of serious harm.
Advice from an experienced and reputable lifting company on how to carry out the process safely was also ignored due to time and budgetary constraints, police said.
Both workmen fell at around 10am after railings on the balcony gave way whilst the furniture was being manoeuvred into premises.
Police, paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance attended, but Mr Procko died at the scene.
Mr Szymanski was taken to a central London hospital in a critical condition where he later died.
Gutaj was bailed to appear at the same court on July 7 for sentencing.
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.”
Six others were hurt in the balcony collapse.
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