Quebec workplace safety board investigates F1 death

Quebec's workplace health and safety board investigating the death of a racetrack worker at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Inquiry will take at least six months

Spokesperson for the Quebec workplace health and safety board, Jacques Nadeau, says they will interview witnesses of the accident that killed a Grand Prix volunteer. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec's workplace health and safety board will investigate the death of a racetrack worker at yesterday's Canadian Grand Prix. The man died when he was run over by a mobile crane — called a telehandler — shortly after the race.

Jacques Nadeau, the spokesperson for the board, says investigators have been taking photos and measurements.

The 38-year-old volunteer was working to remove a Sauber team car that had gone off the track during the race, when he tripped and fell. He was run over by the wheel of the telehandler that was taking the race car back to the paddock.

A helicopter transported the injured man to Montreal’s Sacré-Coeur hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"If we find some adjustments that can be made before, and some recommendations to the organization of the Grand Prix, we will make sure to share that information and ask them to make the changes that might increase security around the track for the workers," said Nadeau. "[Next year], we should have a safer Grand Prix — if we have one."

Nadeau says they will wait a few days before talking to the man's co-workers to find out what happened.

"Some of them might be suffering from shock from the accident and we'll let them get back to their senses," he said.

Nadeau says the man was covered by the workplace health and safety board even though he was a volunteer. Organizers say the man had worked at the track for the past ten years.

The investigation is expected to last at least six months, and findings may be released in early 2014. 

Jacques Bouchard, the race's chief medical officer, says the telehandler’s driver didn’t see the volunteer, and even if he did, could not have stopped in time. He said a physician, who happened to be nearby when the accident occurred, rushed to the injured worker.

"[The doctor] went there within 30 seconds [and] started stabilizing him," said Bouchard.