The union that represents Vancouver’s city engineering workers says it’s heartbroken over the death of one of its members in a workplace accident this weekend.
A city roads worker was killed on the Burnaby side of Boundary Road at Second Avenue Saturday, where paving and water main work was underway.
The details of how the worker died have not yet been confirmed by the city or WorkSafeBC, who are investigating the accident.
CUPE 1004 president Andrew Ledger said the worker wasn’t a regular member of the crew working at Boundary Road, and had been called in to help on the weekend.
“I think it’s fair to say our members are devastated,” he said.
“The member who passed was a very well-loved, very well-liked individual, the kind of guy who always had a smile on his face and was always going out of his way to brighten the lives of the people he worked with.”
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Ledger said the worker had been with the city for over 15 years, but would not release more information about his identity out of respect for the family.
He said he was planning to contact the family this week to offer the union’s condolences.
Ledger said he’s awaiting a report from WorkSafeBC and the city, which is conducting its own investigation, to see if any measures can be put in place to prevent similar accidents.
“No worker should ever not come home at the end of the day,” he said.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said he was saddened by the news.
“Somebody went to work, working for the citizens of this city, and didn’t come home last night,” he said. “It’s devastating.”
In a statement Sunday, the city said it will provide a preliminary report to WorkSafeBC by Monday afternoon, with a full investigative report due in 30 days.
Work was paused in the area of Boundary Road and Second Avenue until Monday, but other work along Boundary went ahead Sunday.
“The city values the health and safety of all of our staff, and are committed to a culture where prevention of incidents is of the highest importance,” a spokesperson said. “We will take all follow-up actions needed and reinforce our safety processes with all staff.”
The Canadian flag above City Hall and other municipal buildings were lowered to half-mast in honour of the worker, and will remain there “until further notice,” the city said.
Stewart said a moment of silence will be held at Tuesday’s council meeting.
The city and WorkSafeBC have declined further comment until the investigation is complete.
Burnaby RCMP have directed all questions to WorkSafeBC.