16 April 2003
Urgent Need For New Health and Safety Law
“Changes to our health and safety law in three week’s time are urgently needed to prevent repeated tragic accidents in our workplaces,” said Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson today.
Last night a worker was crushed to death in a log peeling machine at Juken Nissho’s Gisborne plant.
“This company has an appalling health and safety record of over 300 serious harm injuries reported to OSH and repeated convictions in the past eight years,” said Ross Wilson.
“Employers with unacceptable health and safety records are the reason we need to change our law to involve workers in their own health and safety.”
Ross Wilson said if the present law was working shocking accident records, such as Juken Nissho’s, would not be happening.
“After May 5 changes to our health and safety law will mean that workers have the opportunity to really participate in their own health and safety,” he said.
Earlier this year Juken Nissho was fined $10,000 after a worker was seriously injured.
“In that case OSH reported that the company ignored a worker’s written suggestion that a safety barrier be installed,” said Ross Wilson.
“Under the new law if that recommendation was put forward by the workplace health and safety representative, the employer would be obliged to act on it.”