FARMINGTON — Two businesses were cited by the state this month in relation to a worker's death at a construction site in Farmington in September.

The businesses said they have not decided if they will pay the fine or fight the citation.

Jose Corona, a 31-year-old Albuquerque man, fell 20 feet and landed on his head while working at the site of Tractor Supply Co., 141 Browning Parkway, in Farmington on Sept. 3.

Corona died of head trauma later that night at San Juan Regional Medical Center.

The New Mexico Occupational Health and Safety Bureau cited High Desert Roofing, Corona's employer, and Bingham Construction, the general contractor for the construction project, on March 1.

Corona was a foreman for the Albuquerque-based roofing company.

At the time of his death, he was assessing how the company was going to insulate an attic at the construction site, said Bob Bauder, the president and CEO of High Desert Roofing.

High Desert Roofing was fined $1,500 because Corona wasn't using fall protection.

Bingham Construction Inc., a Marble Falls, Texas business, was fined $3,800 for unsafe working conditions.

Corona fell through a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the attic that was covered by two slabs of plywood.

A construction worker at the job site saw Corona lift up the plywood and peer down to the ground just before he fell and landed on his head, according to the health and safety bureau's report.

A pool of his blood and his hard hat were cordoned off after his death while the health and safety bureau investigated the scene.


Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the fall, according to the safety bureau's report.

Bauder said Corona wasn't wearing fall protection because he was assessing the attic and didn't know there was a hole he could have fallen through.

"We weren't certain the hole was in there," he said. "It wasn't clear what was in there.

"We're a little surprised we were cited."

Bingham Construction said it was still internally discussing how it was going to respond to the citation.

"At this time those things are up in the air. They are not settled," said David Rose, a controller for Bingham Construction.

The businesses have until March 14 to either pay the fine or contest the citation, said Bob Genoway, the bureau chief for the Occupational Health and Safety Bureau.

The health and safety bureau had the ability to fine the companies up to $7,000 each and reductions were made based on the size of the businesses, their past histories and how well they worked with investigators, Genoway said.

"We understand the penalties for acts that result in fatalities always appear to be low," Genoway said.

If the businesses pay their citations, the money goes into the state's general fund, he said.

Jennie Corona, Jose Corona's wife, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Corona worked for High Desert Roofing for 12 years before his death.

Bauder said Corona's father, two of his brothers and two of his cousins work for High Desert Roofing.

"We're happy it's six months behind us," Bauder said. "It affected us, but also in a positive way. It seemed to unite everybody and (Corona's brothers) stepped up to try to fill Jose's shoes."

Ryan Boetel may be reached at; 564-4644. Follow him on Twitter