Public to have say on poor work safety
Sun, 16 Sep 2012 12:19p.m.
The death and injury toll on the job in New Zealand is twice that of Australia and almost six times that of the UK, a consultation paper from an independent taskforce shows.
Those numbers of people, revealed in the document issued today by the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety, would fill Eden Park almost four times every year.
"This is simply not good enough and needs to change," said taskforce chief and Shell Oil New Zealand chairman Rob Jager.
The taskforce was set up this year by Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson in response to the Pike River mining tragedy on the West Coast and will undertake the first strategic review of workplace safety systems in 20 years. The document signals the start of public consultation.
It says that as well as the emotional toll on families and communities, the economic and social cost is about $3.5 billion a year.
"Workplace injuries are not an isolated issue - they affect everyone and occur as a result of a combination of many things including changing workplace practices and environments, regulatory fitness and perhaps even our own culture," Mr Jager said.
Changing the poor track record would take the combined efforts of government, businesses, workers, unions and society as a whole.
Ms Wilkinson welcomed the start of public comment, saying people have a right to know that when they leave for work, they will be coming home safe and well.
The taskforce will make recommendations by April 30 next year on measures to achieve the Government's goal of a 25 percent reduction in deaths and serious injuries by 2020.
"The Government is already taking action across a range of fronts to ensure we get better results, including a boost to workplace health and safety funding by $37 million," Ms Wilkinson said.
Action included targeting the most dangerous sectors including construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing and the establishment of a High Hazards Unit.
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly also welcomed the review, saying current legislation and workplace culture were failing to protect workers.
Public submissions close on November 16.
Workplace accident statistics:
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12/10/2012 9:34:45 p.m.
its the much longer hours we are forced to work and short brakes i work in the forest and we work 15hrs per day with 2 15min brakes 6 days a week carnt keep safe if your tired if you complain you get told to ---- off and find another job
19/09/2012 5:30:01 p.m.
ACC Garbage wrote:
it wont make any diff Jonky didn't say its a problem so it never happened that simple
19/09/2012 8:10:30 a.m.
Britain has really got it right. They have less interference from governing bodies such as OSH but more rigid health and safety policies and procedures within industry, and far more emphasis on personal responsibility. I work in industry there right now and can say the results speak for themselves.
17/09/2012 8:59:24 p.m.
Shocking statistics! What interests me is that this government's goal is to reduce it by 25% by 2020. Why 25%? These statistic are just as bad as our road statistics. If this government is serious about improving or getting rid of deaths and injuries in work places, then, why not adopt the same approach as they have done with road deaths and injuries? Increase the number of work safety inspectors, give them the necessary powers to inspect any work place at any time, and increase fines for offending employers.
17/09/2012 1:25:36 p.m.
How many bosses dont like being told no, thats too dangerous, whats likely to happen, down the road jack, it costs a lot to bring an employment dispute before the courts, and most places now dont have unions. ACC is a poor replacement for a union. Legislation is ineffective when employers fail to understand basic employment law.
17/09/2012 10:51:05 a.m.
Could also add that falls at home also kill over 300 every year. We also need some perspective.We also need to look at what gets recorded as ACC accidents in the workplace. Eg if you get a paper cut, that too can be recorded as a workplpace accident. We do need more personal responsibility as well as employer responsibility. Of the accidents is also a high number of self employeed as NZ has high number of self employed. Even if the accidents are numerous, because ACC is so hard to get while self employed, self employeed tend to lok after themselves a little better than employees.
17/09/2012 9:21:17 a.m.
Kate Wilkinson is a disgrace P!
17/09/2012 9:04:50 a.m.
barry i hate to disappoint your raving but since 1993 labour have been in government and had plenty of chances to change laws. Look at the lazy employees and you will see the reason for the poor safety standards. Recently a man died, sucked into a plane engine because rather than follow safety he took a shortcut. Miners smoking in mines causing accidents.
16/09/2012 11:33:15 p.m.
Employment contract act 1993 National again stripping the worker of his saftey stopping inspectors for the mines pluss saftey in the workshop no inspectors national puts workers at risk they have said it before LOW WAGES are a good thing boot out time have said it for a long 1993 employment contract act kills workers
16/09/2012 10:27:40 p.m.
I have to confess that prior to living in the States, I always thought that the fact that Americans sued for any and every little thing, quite crazy. I still see that they take things 'too far', however, there IS a good element to this ... employers, business owners etc are always on guard and safety is paramount. I worked at a number of coal mines in the USA and if they had a fatality, it was not only thoroughly investigated by OSHA, but the company was heavily fined. I've never worked in such safe environments as I did in the US.
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