MOULTRIE -- The two workers who fell from a Stringfellow Elementary School roof Thursday morning slipped while putting on safety harnesses, a company official said Friday.

Lyndy Jones, owner of JCI General Contractors, the company responsible for renovating the school, said it's his company's policy for workers on roofs to be secure.

"If they're on the roof," Jones said, "they're supposed to be tied off."

According to Jones, "tying off" involves hooking a lanyard to a ring secured to the back of a full-body harness worn by workers on roofs or beams high above the ground.

The lanyards are secured to an anchor on the roof and are long enough to allow the worker to move freely but not hit the ground if he falls.

Unfortunately, Curtis Ray Beck Jr. slipped at the roof's apex while attaching his equipment, said Jones, and Daniel Clingerman fell trying to grab his coworker.

Jones, relying on what witnesses at the scene have told him, said there were six men on the roof before the accident that killed Beck, 34, of Nashville, Ga., and injured Clingerman, 19, also of Nashville.

Clingerman is listed in stable condition at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville.

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration representative spoke with Jones and witnesses Thursday afternoon and will wrap up his investigation in about two weeks, Jones said.

Until then, matters thought to be known, like exactly how Beck and Clingerman landed and whether Beck suffered from internal bleeding, are pending the conclusion of the investigation. A statement attributed to Deputy Coroner Luke Strong Jr. in Friday's Observer said Beck landed on his back and burst his aorta, but Friday afternoon Strong said he did not say that. The statement came from the report of a Moultrie police officer on the scene.

While construction site accidents aren't rare, Jones said that the death at his site is a tough one to handle, especially since safety standards were in place.

In talking about avoiding accidents, Jones said, "You do what you can, but it doesn't take but one careless mistake to really get to you."

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