GM Health & Safety Report – April, 2023

Health and Safety Report –  April, 2023

April 28, 2023 National Day of Mourning

Observed annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives due to a workplace tragedy or suffered or experienced a work-related injury or illness on the job. It is also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

Throughout its long history, due to its nature as a large scale heavy industrial workplace General Motors St. Catharines has experienced work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.  Among numerous others were the tragic fatality of Joel Murray in 1998, the recent tragic fatality of Dan Sevcik in 2021, and more recently, the critical injury of another skilled worker, David Joseph this past January.

After last year’s Day of Mourning, Plant Leadership approached the Union seeking our input regarding their desire to purchase a monument for the site, as a stark daily visual reminder of the importance of safety, to our workplace culture, and to our families. To remind us all, hourly, salary and contract workers, of General Motors safety vision; To live values that return people home safely. Every person. Every site. Every day. Dedicated in memory of all workers who have been killed or disabled by injury or disease in the workplace. We agreed, and the result of that collaboration (above left) now rests outside the West clock house entrance.

The Sevcik and Joseph families will participate in the National Day of Mourning on April 28, by coming to our plant during the morning and afternoon shift changes to hand out WSIB ribbon stickers to help us reflect on the significance of the National Day of Mourning for all workers and their families. The families will be in the West clock house for anyone who wishes to come say hello and pay their respects.

There will be a brief ceremony at the monument for the 11:00am observance of a moment of silence, in addition to the contractual Plant P/A system observance of a moment of silence.

Oct 22, 2021, Fatality Investigation & JHSC Recommendations Update

The 6 of 24 remaining open Joint Health and Safety Committee written recommendations to the Company regarding the fatality that occurred at our Plant, have now been closed with the help of Plant Leadership. All 24 Oct. 22, 2021, JHSC recommendations are now closed.

(I.)(A)(2.)Comau Urane Energy Control Layouts and Gravity Requirements. Review manufacturer’s Y-Axis Gravity requirements on Gen V and GF6 Urane machines. Ensure this is a safe process and make consistent across departments if possible. Update ECLs with standard Gen V and GF6 Urane machine gravity requirements. Ensure gravity devices are available in designated storage location.

Management Response: ECLs on Uranes in Gen V and GF6 are now common. Lanhack Engineering designed a proper common gravity blocking device and were fabricated in-house. Reviewed and approved a common practice of installing and removing the Urane Y-Axis G1 Gravity Block. Reviewed and approved PS2-SOP-03 Urane CB Cylinder Replacement – Revised to add requirements of TIS.

(III.)STCPP use of 3.6 Safe Work Practices Global SOT. STCPP to adopt WSS 3.6 Safe Work Practices Global SOT to annually audit maintenance activities. SOT to check PTSPs are completed as required Maintenance standardized work being followed.

All STCPP Maintenance Employees to receive comprehensive training for how to find path to Maintenance standardized work.

Management Response: Implement a modified version of WSS 3.6 Safe Work Practices Global SOT to be plant-wide twice pre year. Go and See added to PTSP for all high-risk tasks. JIT (Yellow Card) applies for all Skilled Trades. All Skilled Trades workers received tablets. Two TIS created for Trades to find standardized work. Second column added to skill versatility chart which relates to finding job instructions. One-on-one training by GL/Planner/SL to Trades for monthly updating the SVC.

(VI.)(B) STCPP Training and Communication. Upgrade STCPP Skilled Trades Employees and Maintenance Managers Training on High-Risk Tasks and Hazard Recognition. Deliver through a Skilled Trades specific safety talk.

Management Response: Created training presentation based on LMS #55579. Reviewed and revised with JHSC feedback. T3 Area Managers and Shift Leaders trained Group Leaders and Team Members through specific Safety Talk. Tracking through CTIS# and included in New Hire Orientation training.

(IX.)(A) Review feasibility of retrofitting all Comau Urane and SmartDrive machines with Counterbalance Cylinder rod locks as per new era OP 70 A & B 700XL SmartDrive machines.

Management Response: A cross-functional team (Central Manufacturing Safety, Central Manufacturing Engineering, and Comau) reviewed the feasibility of this recommendation and it will not be implemented for these reasons:

  1. The STC Comau Urane and SmartDrive machines met the safety requirements as laid out in Global Design for Health and Safety (G-DHS) at the time of purchase without a Y-Axis counterbalance cylinder rod lock.
  2. The STC Comau Urane machines, which were manufactured prior to 2014, do not have a means to retrofit a rod lock to the Y-Axis counterbalance without extensive machine rework, if at all.
  3. The addition of a rod lock to a Comau Urane or SmartDrive machine does not eliminate the risk of stored pneumatic energy in the machine when hazardous energy has not been controlled.

Additionally, the Comau Y-Axis Cylinder Replacement task has been added to the current STC Hazard and Risk Inventory (HRI) as a specific High-Risk Task requiring the use of a Safe Operating Procedure, a Pre-Task Safety Plan (PTSP) and management approval.

(XII.)(XIII.) Ensure all Comau Urane Maximo Job plans are common in GF6 and Gen V.

Management Response: Total “Urane” Job Plans were reduced to 143, of which 41 are specific to Urane (35) ONLY. One (1) Urane (25) Job Plan has been identified as specific to GF6. Two (2) Urane (25) Job Plans have been identified as Specific to Gen V – due to style of gantry. A total of 99 Job Plans were identified as common between the 2 departments and corrected in Maximo to reflect such.

On April 4, 2023, the JHSC presented 6 written recommendations to the Company regarding the critical injury that occurred at our Plant on Jan. 24, 2023. We expect a written response by April 25, 2023. These recommendations are tracked to closure on the JHSC minutes posted in each clock house and we will continue to report closure of these additional recommendations at Plant SRB and future H&S reports. Any questions please contact us.

Unifor Health and Safety Rep Edward Steers 905 641 6420, Cell/Text 905 658 3271,
Alt Unifor Health and Safety Rep Richard Piper 905 641 6505, Cell/Text 289 228 7126,

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