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Work death toll continues to rise

Work death toll continues to rise

The horrific start to this year's workplace death toll has continued with another worker killed on the job.

A Southland man died yesterday after an ATV accident bringing the number of deaths investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) to 43 for this business year.

OSH is urging all employers and employees to make safety a number one priority.

"This is a horrific start to the working year," said Bob Hill, General Manager, OSH.

"Fatalities are occurring over all sectors including construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

"Deaths in January alone have included workers being crushed, drowning, being trapped in machinery and falling from heights."

Last year OSH investigated 39 workplace deaths for the year July 2000 to June 2001. These deaths do not include deaths that happened to people on the road, maritime deaths and civil aviation operations.

Already this year's toll stands at 43 and includes:

Industry and commercial 18 deaths
Agriculture 14 deaths
Construction 8 deaths M
ines and Quarries 2 deaths
Forestry 1 death

"The frightening thing is that many more people are dying at work, OSH statistics do not cover all workplace deaths, other agencies cover transport, air and marine. When you add these deaths the total workplace toll is much higher," said Mr Hill

"Employers and employees must identify hazards in their workplace and make sure these hazards are managed."

For further information:

John Forrest, OSH Service Manager, Auckland, Tel 09 525 0268, Mobile 025 201 9768, john.forrest@osh.dol.govt.nz


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