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Ontario car manufacturer hit with $325K fine after employee falls to their death

General Motors says it plans to build motors for electric vehicles at its St. Catharines, Ont. propulsion plant. A General Motors logo is displayed outside an assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., on Jan. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya General Motors says it plans to build motors for electric vehicles at its St. Catharines, Ont. propulsion plant. A General Motors logo is displayed outside an assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich., on Jan. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Paul Sancya
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A car manufacturer in St. Catharines, Ont., has been fined more than $300K after a worker died at its facility in 2021.

The fatal incident occurred on Oct. 22, 2021, at the General Motors of Canada Company on 570 Glendale Avenue, the provincial government said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Two workers had been replacing a pneumatic cylinder on a milling machine, with one working from the inside and the other working on top, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The province says the worker on top was not wearing any protection when they fell 2.86 metres onto a concrete floor below and died from their injuries.

General Motors failed to take every reasonable precaution to prevent the fatal injury from happening, the ministry found, including “ensuring the worker used an adequate mans of fall protection” as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

On April 26, the motor manufacturer pled guilty in court and was subsequently fined $325,000.

A 25 per cent victim fine surcharge was included in the fine, as required by the Provincial Offence Act. The funds collected are used toward provincial assistance for victims of crime.

Earlier this year, on Jan. 24, another worker at the Glendale Avenue manufacturing plant seriously injured himself on the job and was airlifted to the hospital.

“Safety is our overriding priority, and we have protocols in place to complete a thorough investigation and will cooperate fully with the Ministry of Labour,” General Motors said in a statement to CP24 in response to the January incident.

“Out of respect for the individual’s privacy, we cannot share additional details at this time.”

With files from CP24’s Joanna Lavoie 

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