Union offers support following B.C. mine death

Death of B.C. mine worker described as a wake up call for industry

Support is being offered to mine workers grappling with the death of a Teck Coal employee at Elkview Operations in Sparwood on Sunday.

LOOK BACK: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at Elkview Operations under investigation

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9346 has established crisis management at its hall at 111 Centennial Square, Sparwood, and is encouraging anyone experiencing difficulty to reach out.

The union is also taking donations at the hall for the family of the deceased, a 38-year-old Fernie man.

The man suffered critical injuries when the pickup truck he was driving collided with a fully loaded dump truck at the mine site on Sunday morning.

USW Local 9346 Agreements Compensation Chairman Troy Cook said the union is devastated by the incident.

“It’s pretty shocking stuff,” he told The Free Press on Monday.

“It doesn’t happen all the time and what it does is it affects everybody, not only the workforce but the communities as well.

“It’s a big deal and a tough day for us.”

According to Cook, operations have not yet resumed at the mine site with the union waiting for further advice from Teck and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

Cook declined to comment on the circumstances of the incident but described it as a wake up call for the industry.

“It wakes you up every time,” he said. “Even in other industries you see stuff happen and it affects you.

“We’ve been getting calls from all over the place, from other Steelworkers locals and other union locals in support because they get how devastating this is to a work site.”

The Free Press is seeking confirmation from Teck regarding the closure.

More to come.

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