Facebook Pixel Code Tennessee Worker Killed in Accident at Manufacturing Company - Ponce Law
CALL 24/7 (615) 244-4325
by | December 3, 2012

emergencyTennessee officials have fined a Chattanooga manufacturing company nearly $16,000 for safety violations related to the death of a plant worker this past spring. Larry Chubbs, 54, was killed on May 7, 2012, when a panel of the catwalk on a large machine at TAG Manufacturing became dislodged, dropping him into the fast-moving machinery below. The worker’s body was discovered two hours after the deadly accident occurred, when he missed a weekly safety meeting. If you have been seriously injured in a workplace accident in Nashville, or elsewhere in Tennessee, consult our knowledgeable lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates for legal help. You may have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance carrier, in order to pursue compensation for accident-related damages, and our attorneys can help.

Manufacturing Plant Cited for Safety Violations

After investigating the circumstances surrounding the worker’s death, the Tennessee Department of Labor fined TAG Manufacturing $14,500 for five safety violations categorized as “serious,” and an additional $1,350 for nine “nonserious” violations. “TAG did not furnish employment or a place of employment that were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees, in that employees were exposed to the hazard of falling into the [machine],” the primary citation reads. One of Chubbs’ main tasks was to run a blaster machine called a Wheelabrator, which cleaned large pieces of steel. The job required him to walk out onto a catwalk panel to blow off the parts emerging from the cleaner and hook them with a nylon strap. According to a state examiner, none of the bar grating panels on the catwalk where the devastating accident occurred were bracketed, welded or bolted in place; the panels would only have had to shift slightly for them to detach.

Penalties Appealed by Manufacturing Company

In addition to safety violations regarding the catwalk, the manufacturing company was also cited for missing boards or railings guarding runways along heavy machinery, and for not establishing specific lockout-tagout procedures for the Wheelabrator equipment. For the company’s part, the attorney for TAG Manufacturing has said, “This was a horrible accident – a perfect storm of unlikely events. And this has been devastating to the owners of this company, because they knew Larry and liked him. To say we put him on a machine that we knew had this level of danger and that we didn’t care is highly offensive.” In light of these claims, TAG has appealed four of the penalties levied against the company, and the appeal is being handled by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Contact Our Attorneys Today for Legal Help

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace accidents related to fabricated metal manufacturing resulted in 47 deaths across the country in 2010, which represents 1% of all work-related fatalities that year. In the Chattanooga, Tennessee area alone, there have been three fatal workplace accidents this year, including the death of Chubbs and of two construction workers who recently fell from scaffolding at a chemical plant. If you have suffered serious injuries in an on-the-job accident in Tennessee, or if you lost a loved one in such an accident, contact our qualified attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss possible workers’ compensation benefits. You may be entitled to medical or death benefits for your losses, intended to cover the cost of medical bills, missed time at work and funeral and burial costs, and our lawyers can help you pursue these benefits.

Free Case Review

Case Evaluation

"*" indicates required fields

MM slash DD slash YYYY

No Fee Guarantee

Our Reviews

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    As a Non-Tennessee resident, I selected Ponce Law after reading the reviews. You guys were spot on. This firm has some of the nicest, knowledgeable and easiest lawyers and staff to work with. I was amazed and very pleased with their diligence and work ethic! Even if I was worried about something and called for advice, they were quick to respond and answered my questions. I will highly recommend this firm.

    Terrence Harris 3 months ago
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Ponce Law Firm, has been the best experience for both of my children. Attorney helped me through all the process in a very timely profesional way. The Staff has been by far the best! I highly recommend this law firm.

    Ailed Martinez 3 months ago
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    I called ponce law after my motorcycle crash. I worked with Brian and Cheyenne and they were phenomenal to work with, very responsive, and always kept me updated with the status of my case. Thank you Cheyenne and Brian highly recommend the Ponce team!

    ezekiel Johnson 3 months ago
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Always very professional. When we first called we had no idea if we even had a case, they told us we did. And even though the resolution took a little bit longer than expected, the wait was worth it. They get results and I really appreciated that they consistently gave me updates on the status of my case without me even asking. Thank you Ponce Law!

    Karla Drumm 4 weeks ago
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Ponce law was amazing! All of the attorneys and paralegals were extraordinary and very competent! And a special shout out to Monserrat for always keeping me updated and in the loop!!!

    Paul Little 3 months ago
  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    My experience with Ponce law has been very positive! The paralegal team I had was very helpful through my case and I’m very happy with the outcome they were able to give me.

    GROUND ZERO CONTENT 7 months ago


  • Block Image

    My son was on a school bus… The school bus was hit… He was taken by ambulance to Vanderbilt. A friend of mine, here in town, owns a hair salon. And she had recommended him. So I actually sent Mr. Ponce a message on Facebook. He said he would love to help! And you know, asked me for some more details. And I’ll give them to him. Some things were sent electronically. That I could just go online and do. And it would be done with! Even the times that I have come into the office. I’m not stuck sitting out in the waiting room forever. I’m brought straight back. And within a minute or two… We were already started!

    – April

    View More Testimonials

  • Block Image

    The day of my accident, I was riding my scooter and then all sudden… The car just popped out of that other oncoming traffic. As far as trying to find a lawyer… It seemed like we could do it on our own… But it still seemed so iffy! I asked a friend what he thought, they’d mentioned Michael Ponce. And then when it was mentioned… It wasn’t with like… any hesitation. You should call Ponce Law because they will exceed your expectations.

    – Ian

    View More Testimonials

  • Block Image

    Out of nowhere… Come a car and she hit us head-on. I thought for a moment that my wife was going to die, you know… But we’re all good! I just needed to find somebody that would have our back… I chose Michael because he’s going to be upfront with ya, he will definitely have your back!

    – Ray

    View More Testimonials

Ponce Law Awards & Recognition

Recent Blog Posts

View All Blog Posts

Ponce Law