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Workplace Deaths Raises OSH Resourcing Concerns

July 3, 2002

Tragic Workplace Deaths Raises OSH Resourcing Concerns

The tragic deaths of two maintenance workers in Auckland yesterday after a bundle of steel fell on them has rekindled serious concerns of PSA members in OSH about funding and resourcing, PSA national secretary Bryce Fleury said today.

“Our members working at OSH are very concerned that accidents like this are occurring. They feel, however, that inadequate funding and resourcing is preventing them from being effective in promoting and enforcing the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.”

“Only Health and Safety Inspectors can enforce the Act. Currently there are insufficient numbers of Inspectors to ensure proper coverage in the Auckland region. Nationally there are only 152 Health and Safety Inspectors, out of a total of 285 people employed by OSH. Five years ago there were 170 Health and Safety Inspectors employed by OSH.”

Bryce Fleury said the number of Health and Safety Inspectors appeared to have dropped through inadequate funding and the cost of major restructuring over the last few years. PSA members in OSH report that there have been at least three major internal restructurings over the last five years.

“PSA members in OSH are reporting that there have been instances of their colleagues being medically unfit for work due to work-related stress. The causes of this stress are generally work overload and lack of resources”, he said.

[ends]

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