Workplace fatality reported during tree pruning in Oak Bay

WorkSafe B.C. and Saanich police are investigating after a workplace fatality on McNeill Avenue.

The fatality occurred during tree-pruning work on McNeill near Byng Street. A Tomahawk Tree Service vehicle was at the scene.

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While the incident is in Oak Bay, a contractual agreement for such cases has Saanich detectives taking on the investigation.

“It appears to be an arborist company and one of their employees has been tragically killed,” said Saanich police Staff Sgt. Chris Horsley. “The circumstances at this point are still undetermined.’

He said police are looking into the victim’s role at the time of the incident.

“There was a crew working on the removal of a large oak tree.”

WorkSafe B.C. was informed of the incident about 10:30 a.m. and sent a safety worker to the site. Horsley said officers were still on the scene about 1:45 p.m.

“What’s complicated matters is the scene safety has become an issue,” he said.“Where the incident occurred there is still a very heavy tree limb which is hung up on utility lines directly above our scene.

“So that’s prevented WorkSafe, the police and the B.C. Coroners Service from really getting things started on the investigation.”

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