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One Workplace Death Is One Too Many

Fri, 2 Aug 2002

One Workplace Death Is One Too Many

Claims that the Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) has manipulated workplace fatality figures were angrily rejected today by OSH.

Employers and Manufacturers Association manager Peter Tritt claimed in today's National Business Review that OSH skewed the figures to an artificial high to support the Government's new health and safety legislation.

"To suggest that pizza delivery workers or visitors to a worksite or garden centre do not have the right to be safe is outrageous," said OSH general manager Bob Hill.

"Mr Tritt continues to argue total numbers, the fact is that everyone has the right to be safe in the workplace. One death is one too many. "When OSH released its end of year figures, we explained that the figures represent the number of fatalities investigated by OSH inspectors.

"Higher public expectation that fatalities will be investigated has resulted in more cases being notified to, and investigated by OSH.

"The figures released reflect the more proactive approach to investigation being taken by OSH."

Mr Hill said for years the true horror of workplace death and injury in the country has been under-reported and under-acknowledged.

"The Government has taken up the issue and established an information manager who will combine data from many agencies, so that for the first time we can get a true picture of the human, social and economic cost to our country of workplace injury, illness and death.

"Once we see data combined from all the agencies combined in workplace injury, the toll would not be 43 or 73 but in the hundreds."

"The work required to ensure safety in the workplace will then be startlingly clear," said Mr Hill.

Ends

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