WorkSafeBC investigating construction worker's death at Customs House project

WorkSafeBC has launched an investigation into the death Tuesday afternoon of a construction worker at the site of the former Customs House building at Government and Wharf streets.

Spokeswoman Ivy Yuen said the occupational health and safety investigation services team will aim to identify the cause of the incident and any contributing factors to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

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No additional information will be released while the incident is under investigation, she said.

The B.C. Coroners Service is also looking at the cause of death and contributing factors, said spokesman Andy Watson, adding the investigation is in the early stages. “We still need to take the time to determine what actually happened there.”

Victoria police said they were called to the work site just before 4 p.m. after a man was injured and died.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Banyan Group of Companies Ltd., construction manager for the project, confirmed that a worker at one of its downtown projects had died. The worker was not a Banyan employee, but an employee of one of the subcontractors, the spokesman said.

Investigators took photos of a hydraulic lift suspended at the fifth floor of the seven-storey building, which will house luxury condominiums.

After the incident, some of the construction workers sat on a nearby bench looking shaken.

The former government building at 816 Government St. is being turned into a 57-unit condominium building.

Anyone affected by the incident can call Victims Services at 250-995-7351, or the 24-hour line through Victim Link at 1‑800‑563-0808.

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