NZ needs better health and safety laws at work to keep everyone safe. After the Pike River Mine explosion, when 29 men were killed, the Government agreed to a review of the health and safety law. The John Key and the National Government promised that our laws would take “no steps backwards”.
We owe it to the workers who have been killed at work, the 29 men at Pike but also the other workers who are hurt or killed on the job to have a better law, a stronger law.
A good health and safety system needs an effective regulator, workers able to influence health and safety in their workplace and businesses showing positive leadership. Both the Pike River Royal Commission and the Independent Taskforce emphasized the crucial importance of strengthening New Zealand’s weak worker participation. It is backed by international evidence.
Leading businesses, Business New Zealand and unions all support the recommendations.
A minority of small businesses have lobbied the Government to back down on improvements. Their ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is irresponsible and they’re playing politics with workers lives.
Workers in small businesses are 35% more likely to have accidents, according to the Department of Labour. Many of the men who died in the Pike River tragedy worked for small businesses.
The Government will be voting on the proposed changes mid-August.
Workers electing their own health and safety representatives is of benefit to the workplace, regardless of the size of firm or the industry they work in. Everyone should be able to participate in their own health and safety at work.
We’ve got a small window of opportunity to protect workers health and safety. Help us take it.
The CTU are bringing their Health and Safety campaign to a town near you! If you’re keen to get involved and show your support for the Working to Stay Safe campaign, check out the dates, times and locations by clicking here .