Health & Safety Report December, 2021

 Health and Safety Report   Dec 2021
October 22, 2021

 Friday October 22, 2021 was the worst day many of us have had in our career at General Motors. It was a day we have worked very hard over the past five years to prevent, but it arrived nonetheless when I was immediately notified of an incident involving a man I worked with at different times in the past, and had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for… Dan Sevcik.

As the worker’s Health and Safety Representative, it’s a legal requirement of our job that we be allowed to observe and participate in the investigation of critical injuries and fatalities at work to ensure transparency. I participated in the active investigation of the scene with both the GM Global Safety Team’s investigation and with the Ministry of Labour. I also participated in every worker interview for both investigations. To assist the MOL investigation, I have presented a number of documents highlighting discussions and decisions that have been made over the last few years on a variety of topics. The MOL investigation is still open, ongoing and could take up to a year to conclude and we will report the outcome of their investigation when it does. We have yet to hear details of the GCTA Team’s recommendations.

We must now focus our attention in-plant on recommendations for changes so the outcome of this incident never happens again. Plant Leadership has been making changes, and the JHSC has been very active meeting and discussing a vast number of immediate and continuous improvement recommendations. There are few in the plant who will not be affected by changes to current safety practices now, and at some point in the future. If you have any issues with implementation of these changes, please call us.  More to come on this when we have something to report.

The DCT Equipment Run-off is going slower than originally planned, with equipment trickling into the plant from machine manufacturer KUKA, in Michigan. I participated in the safety aspect of the run-off for a total of 10 weeks from June to October but will be supporting from inside the plant now on. Thanks to Richard Piper and Kevan Anderson for providing excellent representation in my absence.

Our 4-year ergonomic argument against driving lift-trucks in reverse was wrapped up in August when the MOL Ergonomist concluded that documentation presented by both sides did not provide a solid scientific basis for a decision. With the help of OHCOW Certified Ergonomists we developed what we thought was a sound argument, but we were hindered by a lack of research on the

dose-response relationship between driving in reverse and musculoskeletal disorders. As such we are left with ensuring the countermeasures the Company implemented in their Safety FMEA are maintained and people are driving no more than 50% of their 8-hour shift in reverse. Since this is now standardized work, you are entitled to a WSIB claim if you become injured as part of your standardized work to drive a lift truck in reverse for a significant part of your shift.  To ease establishment of a future WSIB claim please don’t wait to report any new symptoms you are noticing of neck, back or shoulder pain to Medical.

We have noticed and are encouraged by an increase in use of the Employee Safety Concern Process in some areas. We try to audit and record documented safety concerns on each board every month, and we discuss your open safety concerns with each Business Team’s managers every week. When we return to some boards there may be 2 or 3 new pages of concerns, which is a great use of the process. Using the ESCP and documenting your safety concerns allows us to use the company’s process to argue on your behalf for an effective resolution to your concerns. Call us anytime if you have questions.

 Unifor Health and Safety Rep Edward Steers, 905 641 6420, Cell/Text 905 658 3271,

 Alternate Unifor Health and Safety Rep Richard Piper, 905 641 6505, PTT 7440029,

Print here:  Health and Safety Report Dec 2021