By Clare Ogilvie
Mike Greer had done some of the most dangerous jobs in
construction and was well thought of by his peers.
“He had been doing this for 20 years and he knew what he was
doing,” said Dewey McLellan, a blaster and site superintendent currently
working in Lillooet who had worked with Greer in the past.
“He was totally qualified.”
Greer, 45, was killed Monday by a blasting accident on a
road under construction for access to an Olympic venue just south of the
The RCMP, Worksafe B.C., the Ministry of Transportation and
the contractor for the $12 million road construction project, Murrin
Construction, are all investigating the accident.
Specifics of the cause of the blast are not being released,
but RCMP Cst. Jeff Levine said that the site was guarded overnight as there was
still dynamite at the site that was to be set off yesterday as part of the
measures to make the work site safe.
“One of the priorities is making the site safe,” said
Greer was a member of the Christian Labour Association of
Canada. North Vancouver’s Murrin Construction has been a member of CLAC since
McLellan said Greer had worked as a highway rock scaler as
well as a blaster and a driller.
“I call those guys (scalers) the dancers with death,” he
said. “(Greer) was a good scaler. I mean he would hang 400 or 500 feet over the
Getting a ‘ticket’ to blast from the Workers Compensation
Board is no easy task said McLellan. Blasters have to apprentice for an
extended period and then be vouched for by peers in the business as well.
“(Greer) knew exactly what he was doing, there was no ifs,
ands, or buts about it. This guy has been doing it since he was 20 years old
but something happened,” said McLellan.
“I started doing this when I was 15 and I’m 57 now and I’m
still doing it. But I can honestly tell you that on many occasions there are
times when you are just lucky to still be here.
“This is a great loss. I feel for the family and friends and
our brothers. You know when you get up in the morning and you put on your
rigging you never know what the day will bring. Sometimes you just don’t come