The City of Vancouver is flying its flags at half-mast to honour Jody Taylor who was killed, March 31, while trimming a branch on a catalpa tree in Connaught Park.
The 43-year-old worked for 16 years with the city as a certified arborist.
Malcolm Bromley, the general manager for the Vancouver Park Board described him as a , "a big strong man, with a big heart," at a sombre news conference at city hall with Mayor Gregor Robertson, park board commissioner John Coupar, CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger and city manager Sadhu Johnston.
Taylor has a 10-year-old daughter, named Tristen.
"It's heartbreaking to know there's a 10-year-old daughter who's getting out of school and learning about this incident and the loss of her father," said Johnston. "We just really want to send our condolences."
Taylor was in an elevated, boom-mounted bucket pruning back a tree around 9:30 a.m. PT in Connaught Park on Thursday and WorkSafeBC says it appears a large diameter tree limb crushed him against the inside of the bucket.
He was rushed to hospital but died from his injuries.
The city says it is working with WorkSafeBC in its investigation of the accident, but will also release a preliminary report by Saturday to determine if any immediate safety measures need to be implemented.
The workplace death is the first for the city since 1997.
"The safety and security of our staff is of critical importance here at the city of Vancouver, and it really is our top priority, and we've been proud to have a really strong record on workplace safety over the years," said Robertson of the city's 10,000 staff members at a news conference . "We want them to make it home to their families every day."
The city will also spend 30 days performing a second investigation that will look at training and procedures, said Johnston.
"This is obviously a very serious matter, and we will be looking to learn from it to the best of our ability — to take any lessons from it," he said. "If there are things that we can do differently to improve the way that our workers do this kind of work on a daily basis.
"At this point we are not aware that there are any changes that need to be made."
Johnston added that it could take months for some employees to get over the loss of Taylor and that counselling services have been made available.
The Vancouver Park Board will have a tribute for Taylor at its meeting Monday, April 4.