Investigation continues into fatality at Victoria metal recycling company

Employees receive grief counselling, will be given time to absorb tragedy

Operations at Steel Pacific Recycling in Victoria were scaled back Monday following the workplace death of an employee on Saturday afternoon.

Investigators with WorkSafeBC and the company’s accident investigation team were at the yard in Victoria’s Rock Bay district Monday, while grief counsellors, a critical incident team and company officials met with about 25 yard employees at an off-site location.

“They’re a close-knit team and this was a well-liked person,” Caroll Taiji, the company’s communications consultant, said of the 35-year-old victim, who was originally from Nanaimo. He had worked for the company in Victoria for more than three years.

“It’s really devastating for them,” Taiji said. “This company in that location has existed and operated for over 50 years. They have never had a fatality, so there’s a huge amount of shock.”

The man was killed in an area of the yard where finer materials are salvaged from crushed automobiles, Taiji explained.

“The worker was caught in the machinery somehow and fatally injured,” confirmed WorkSafeBC spokesperson Megan Johnston.

Once the B.C. Coroners Service receives WorkSafeBC’s final report, the coroners team will decide whether health and safety practices in B.C.’s steel recycling industry warrant a closer look to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances, said Victoria coroner Barb McLintock.

The company was quick to note that the worker’s death was not caused by a shredder, despite initial reports.

“In fact, the shredding machine is decommissioned and it’s been closed for over a year, so it hasn’t even been functioning,” Taiji said.

Lessons that can be learned from this tragedy will be shared company-wide, she said.

“Anything that can be gleaned and learned and shared, will be.”

Company officials could not say Monday when the Victoria operation would re-open for business.

“The management team is very focused on not restoring operations until people are absolutely ready,” Taiji said. “The main focus is the family and the co-workers.”

emccracken@vicnews.com

Did you know?

• In B.C., 143 workers died in 2010 as a result of work-related incidents or occupational diseases.

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read