(Photo: PDN file photo)
Inland Builders Corporation could pay more than $49,000 in fines for violating seven safety standards in January 2017. Jasmine Stole/PDN
The federal Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administrationrecently cited Inland Builders Corporation for safety violations related to the January incident that killed company employee Renato Fernando.
Inland Builders was fined nearly $50,000.
Police said Fernando, 62, was working with another man, snaking in a manhole near the Nayon Restaurant at the Hafa Adai Exchange in Tamuning. His co-worker, Johnny Teopaco, said they were done for the day and Fernando asked him to go and buy water. Teopaco returned and found Fernando halfway out of the manhole, bleeding.
Police said a motorist struck Fernando and fled.
But Dr. Aurelio Espinola, the island's chief medical examiner, said Fernando’s injuries were not consistent with getting hit by a car. Espinola suspected Fernando may have hit his head on the edge of the manhole. He died of a skull fracture.
Case remains open
OSHA found seven serious violations and fined Inland Builders a total of $49,436. The violations were issued on May 18. Five violations were related to confined space safety standards.
Inland Builders was required to have an attendant remain outside the confined space until relieved by another attendant. The company also was supposed to develop a plan for rescuing someone from a confined space, according to OSHA regulations.
It also was supposed to have equipment, like a ladder, to enter and exit a confined space, and provide barriers to protect the person in the confined space from external hazards.
The company violated all these standards, according to the OSHA case summary.
As of Thursday, June 8, the OSHA case was still not closed, which meant violations may be added or deleted.
OSHA classified the incident as an accident. Espinola ruled Fernando’s death an accident.
The Pacific Daily News left messages with Inland Builders on Thursday, seeking comment about the violations, but the company did not respond.