RNV issues report on worksite death


The man who died at a construction site in Chalan Kanoa was not directly employed by RNV Construction but was employed by a subcontractor of RNV and was working on a CW-1 visa receipt.

According to an official statement from RNV that was issued Wednesday, Merlito Villegas, the man who died at one of the construction company’s project sites in Chalan Kanoa, was not directly employed by RNV. Instead, he was employed through TFC Construction, an RNV subcontractor.

RNV also stated that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been notified of the death in compliance with the eight hours reporting requirement for workplace incidents.

“OSHA 1904.39(a)(1): within eight hours after the death of any employee as a result of a work-related incident, you must report the fatality to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor,” RNV stated.

An earlier report stated that the man had died of natural causes.

Based on RNV’s incident report, at about 2:30pm last March 4, all the workers stationed at the Chalan Kanoa project, including Villegas, took shelter at the worker’s staging area due to the bad weather. During this brief break, RNV said Villegas told one of his co-workers that he felt “uncomfortable.”

At around 2:35pm, the rain had subsided and all the workers decided to go back to work.

RNV said the project foreman advised Villegas to stay in the staging area to rest if he was still feeling uncomfortable and he obliged.

At around 2:45pm, RNV reports that the workers rushed down to the staging area again because of heavy rainfall and that’s when they found Villegas lying lifeless on the makeshift bench where they had left him earlier. Workers immediately called 911 for emergency assistance and medics arrived at the jobsite at about 3pm and transported Villegas to the Commonwealth Health Center.

RNV said an RNV project engineer received a phone call from a jobsite foreman reporting that Villegas was found lying in an improvised wooden bench inside the construction site staging area at around 2:56pm. (Kimberly B. Esmores)

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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