As if roofing wasn't already hard and dangerous work, roofing workers in Iowa dealt with a work hazard that had nothing to do with falls or proper ladder usage: an angry resident with a gun.
In a story reported by the Carroll Broadcasting Company, Alex Calderon of Glidden, Iowa, was apparently upset by the noise created from a nearby roofing job. According to an affidavit from the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Calderon, 59, walked from his residence to the nearby worksite to complain. He then drew an H&R Model 732 revolver from a holster and allegedly pointed it toward members of the six-person roofing crew "in a threatening manner."
Carroll Broadcasting Company states witnesses later positively identified Calderon and authorities recovered the firearm when they took him into custody late last month. He was released after appearing before a magistrate. Calderon faces a charge of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, an aggravated misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison and $6,250 in fines.
This isn't the first time roofing contractors have encountered firearms while on the job. In 2020, a roofing contractor died after his personal firearm discharged while working on a roof at a school. In 2019, a Florida roofing contractor was unintentionally shot and killed by a co-worker.
As Richard Alaniz of Alaniz and Schraeder, a national labor and employment firm, explains in this column, the possibility of workplace violence occurring has become such a concern that many employers have implemented “active shooter” training into their safety regimen.
"Much like fire drills, employees are trained in how to respond if the workplace comes under attack by someone with a firearm. It’s training that everyone prays never has to be put to use," he wrote.