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Sunday 9th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

A BOSS of a construction company with a long history of neglecting safety faces two years in prison after two workers were killed when they fell from a balcony during a luxury flat refit.

Tomasz Procko and Karol Symanski died in an “entirely foreseeable and preventable” accident as they hauled a sofa up to the first floor of a multimillion-pound Belgravia property.

Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Martinisation Ltd had a “long and unhappy history of neglect of health and safety” as managing director Martin Gutaj refused to give evidence.

They also heard that the project was behind schedule, with costs increasing to almost £1 million, when the sofa was delivered in November 2014.

The sofa was too big to be carried up the stairs to the flat, the court was told, so five workers stood on the balcony to haul it up.

Adrian Darbishire QC explained: “As they hauled the sofa up about 20 feet to the level of the balcony, the workers were hauling against, and leaning over, the balustrade.

“The 130-year-old Victorian cast-iron balustrade gave way and two of the men fell to their deaths on the pavement below.

“A third was saved only by being grabbed by his colleagues as he began to fall.”

Jurors found the firm guilty of two charges of corporate manslaughter. Mr Gutaj was convicted of breaching health and safety legislation.

Falling from height is the single greatest cause of workplace deaths in Britain, with 40 people losing their lives every year.

Mr Gutaj and his company will be sentenced at the Old Bailey at a later date. He faces a maximum sentence of two years in jail and/or a fine.