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'No worker should ever not come home:' union reacts to death at City of Vancouver work site

Last Updated Sep 29, 2019 at 9:44 pm PDT

CityNews Image, Ashley Burr
Summary

The fatal incident happened Saturday afternoon at a site around Boundary Road and East 2nd Avenue

The man killed was working an extra shift to help out another city crew

The worker was well-respected by his coworkers, had all the proper training, and had been on the job for about 15 years.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A city worker who died on the job Saturday had come in for an extra shift to help out a crew that he doesn’t usually work with, according to the union that represents City of Vancouver engineering and outdoor employees.

“He was just coming in to lend a hand to help make sure the work got done over the weekend,” says CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger.

The worker was well-respected by his coworkers, had all the proper training, and had been on the job for about 15 years.

“He was the kind of worker who came to work with a smile on his face every day and shared that positivity with his coworkers.”

The workers name is not being released.

The fatal incident happened Saturday afternoon at a site around Boundary Road and East 2nd Avenue. A piece of heavy equipment appears to have rolled down a hill, hitting and killing the victim. Although it’s still not clear how the equipment got loose.

Ledger says safety has not been a concern at that site in the past.

“We’re very troubled,” he says. The expectation is that all our members are going to go to work and come home from work safely. No worker should ever not come home.”

RCMP, WorkSafeBC, and the BC Coroner’s office are investigating.

Ledger says the union is assisting.

“Our local, our members, are going to be diligent about working with WorkSafeBC to determine exactly what happened in this incident to make sure we have a fulsome understanding–not only for the family–but for our members who work there to ensure that something like this never happens again.”

Meantime, the flag at City Hall flew at half-mast and the Mayor took to social media to offer condolences.

City of Vancouver employees are being offered counselling services.