GM Canada has been fined $325,000 over the death of a St. Catharines plant worker.
According to a report by Well and Tribute, the worker, Daniel Sevcik, died on October 21st, 2021 after falling almost three meters (about 10 feet) from a milling machine onto the concrete below at the St. Catharines plant. The man was replacing a pneumatic cylinder when he fell, and had previously worked for General Motors for 47 years.
In the Ontario Court of Justice, The General pleaded guilty to failing to follow Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) standards. More specifically, the case is related to the Detroit-based automakers lack of an adequate means of protecting its workers in the case of a fall.
“This is obviously a monumental tragedy for the family members and friends,” Judge Cameron Watson was quoted as saying. “No one expects to go to work and not to come home. Unfortunately, in this day and age, there are certain occupations where that is a possibility. One thinks more of first responders – firefighters, police officers – but, unfortunately, work such as what occurs at the GM of Canada company carries with it, at times, an inherent danger.”
The ruling is intended to send a message to General Motors, and other employers, that any breach of the OSHA will not be tolerated.
“Cases such as this, no dollar amount can in any way shape or form measure the loss of someone’s life,” Judge Watson said. “Tragically and awkwardly these matters must have a quantification of a dollar amount. The dollar amount does not equate to a life.”
It’s worth noting that another worker sustained serious injury to both his upper and lower extremities at the same plant early this year while working inside a machine.