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Laval, Wednesday, November 15, 2000 We are satisfied with the Health and Safety Boards report, which blames the City of Laval severely for the death of our outside co-worker Marc Desforges last March 28. But we wont be entirely satisfied until the City of Laval, and all other municipalities within and outside Quebec take tangible steps, in particular through training and the organization of work, to ensure that there are no more deaths.

Of course, Marcs death is one death too many, but we are going to make sure that it was not in vain, said Martin Gagnon, president of Local 4545 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-QFL).

Raising the awareness of other outside workers

Since the vast majority of outside workers in both Quebec and the rest of Canada are members of CUPE and may well use the same type of spreader equipment that caused our colleagues death, namely the Dal-Bel and SMS-Hydraulic spreaders, we have already begun an awareness campaign through CUPEs National Office and regional offices, added Mr. Gagnon.

Recommendations that must be strictly followed!

The Health and Safety Board identified the workers access to the spreaders moving agitator as well as deficiencies in information and methods of work as the causes of the accident that led to Marc Desforges death.

The Health and Safety Board has banned the sale, leasing or manufacturing anywhere in Quebec of the model of spreader involved in the accident. Through our union structures, we are going to make sure that the ban is strictly enforced everywhere, not just in Quebec, promised Serge Leboeuf, the union staff representative involved.

Potential recourse

We will obviously be approaching the employer to follow up on the Health and Safety Boards recommendations concerning the organization of work, methods of work and training. But at the same time, we and our legal counsel are examining the possibility of recourse against the municipality, in light of the very severe report released today by the Health and Safety Board. Someone is going to have to assume their responsibilities and be held accountable for this death, insisted Martin Gagnon.

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Martin Gagnon, 514-239-0835
Serge Leboeuf, 514-951-8641
Louis Cauchy, 514-384-9681, ext. 270

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