Roofing company in Dalton death had record of unsafe conditions

Roofing company in Dalton death had record of unsafe conditions

April 15th, 2014 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Around the Region

A Shaw Industries plant in Dalton, Ga.

A Shaw Industries plant in Dalton, Ga.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The company that employed the 48-year-old man who fell through a roof and died at Shaw Industries' WD plant in Dalton, Ga., on Saturday has been cited by federal regulators 10 times since 2008 for failing to provide fall protection to workers and other fall-related safety violations.

The man, who has not been identified, worked for Porter Roofing Contractors, based in McMinnville, Tenn. He fell between 30 and 35 feet and suffered head trauma, said Gary Baggett, deputy fire chief the Dalton Fire Department.

The man was conscious and alert when first responders arrived at 9:10 a.m. Saturday. First responders called for a Life Force helicopter, but conditions were too foggy for the helicopter to fly, so the man was transported to Hamilton Medical Center by ambulance.

He died as the ambulance was arriving at the hospital, Baggett said, and appeared to go into cardiac arrest. The man did not sustain any other obvious injuries besides the head trauma, Baggett added.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are on-site at Shaw Industries to investigate the accident. Porter Roofing Contractors has paid $26,615 to OSHA in penalties for 21 citations over the past six years - and half of those violations were fall-related.

Porter Roofing Contractors did not respond to requests for comment Monday. The company's website says they employ 135 people and have done work for UTC, Girls Preparatory School and Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

Susan Rich, director of corporate communications at Shaw Industries, said Shaw's plant is open and operating.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and coworkers of an employee of a roofing contractor who passed away," she said.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips and story ideas.