CLARK MILLS, N.Y. — A Utica, N.Y. man died in a construction accident on Tuesday after falling from the roof of a four-story building.
The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office reports that Frankie T. Torchia, 33, had been hired to do construction work on the building and was at the site along with another worker. They were in the process of setting a 30-foot piece of roofing metal on the roof when the wind caught the steel and knocked Torchia from the roof.
Torchia was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the sheriff’s office, no safety equipment or harnesses were being used at the time of the accident.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the New York State Department of Labor responded and are investigating the matter.
Unfortunately, this is not the only recent death to have occurred due to falling from a roof. In North Carolina, a roofing contractor and firefighter fell to her death while working on a roof on Oct. 8. In September, a roofing contractor in Ohio was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter after an employee died from a fall.
“Falls continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, which makes the use of proper protection essential,” said Loren Sweatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health in a written statement.
OSHA listed falls as its top most cited violation of 2019, and falls continue to remain one of its “Focus Four” hazards, which are job hazards that are the leading causes of deaths at work sites.
The agency is giving heavy weight to inspections involving the Focus Four hazards — falls, struck by, caught in/between and electrocution — and are hitting roofing contractors with serious penalties. A Charleston, W.V. contractor faces $202,988 for fall-related hazards, while a Martin, Ohio contractor was slapped with $247,544 for repeated violations for fall hazards.