NZ's workplace injury rate a 'disgrace' - CTU
Mon, 17 Sep 2012 7:33a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Around 100 New Zealanders are killed at work every year, and the country’s workplace injury rate is about twice that of Australia – and nearly six times that of the UK.
The Council of Trade Unions has calls the high rate a ‘disgrace’ and is welcoming a new consultation paper on workplace health and safety.
CTU president Helen Kelly spoke to Firstline this morning, saying New Zealand’s workplace regulations are to blame.
“With the deregulated labour market that we’ve got that we don’t see as much of in Australia, for example, there is a competitive advantage in not spending money on staff, saving money on the cost of labour and we see that in a lot of different areas,” she told Firstline this morning.
Ms Kelly says with few regulators or regular safety checks in place, companies can make gains by cutting corners at the expense of their staff.
She says the fishing and forestry industries have a particularly high injury rate, with 35 injuries occurring per 1000 workers – compared to seven per 1000 in most industries.
“If you look comparatively at the UK… they do manage to keep those industries safe,” she says.
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13/10/2012 1:28:26 p.m.
Just Me wrote:
Some years ago one of my colleagues had a bad accident at work.They were off work for almost 3 months due to the accident.
The boss lied and told us he had reported the injury to OSH.He had not done so.He was more obsessed with profits and money than he was for workplace safety.He showed such little regard to staff and workplace safety that he was willing to let profits be the priority for him and the business owners.
There are far too many dangerous workplaces around NZ.It's a pity OSH inspectors don't do a spot check there and then on some workplaces.Do the spot checks when the management least expect them.
19/09/2012 7:48:43 p.m.
My workplace already has a guy who basically just a safety policeman running around and making everybody miserable. News reports like this will just scare my boss into giving this guy even more power. My boss scares real easily and will pay anybody anything to make him feel safe. So if you have some bright idea to test workers for evil spirits, psychometric testing or any other sort of pop science, set yourself up in business then start approaching employers and telling then that if they don't pay you something, there will be an accident and it will be their fault. If that doesn't make them throw money at you, threaten to report them to OSH if they don't comply. You'll walk out of the bosses office with a fistful of cash every time. After that, put the workers through whatever test you have in mind. Be sure to point the finger at the odd one or two and get them sacked every so often.
18/09/2012 11:38:33 p.m.
Yes there are major issues, some stems from the 'She'll be right' attitude that is still so prevalent. The regs. themselves were left very woolly when they were drafted to allow for interpretation on a industry by industry basis. The law in the UK is very prescriptive allowing no wriggle room. ACC and the blame free culture also does not help.
18/09/2012 12:19:50 a.m.
From my experience this happens because when OSH is not looking the boss's or supervises force you to work at an unsafe speed in most cases if you cant keep up the speed you will be replaced. Every day i wake up i am very grateful i am self employed now.
17/09/2012 7:52:16 p.m.
This should make national happy. If they could kill a few hundred workers off each week then they could be easily replaced by the winz list and not only would winz save money but the national party would have found their solution to the beneficiary increases each week. Oh the money they would save. And less voters to vote them out next election. Bit like the workers going to oz. Dont forget to vote over there expats. Im sure we would all like to have something to come home to if we have anything left that we own.
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