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New Zealand at forefront of ILO change

Media release 29 May 2003

New Zealand at forefront of ILO change

New Zealand employers' advocate Anne Knowles is leading a new international approach to workplace health and safety.

Ms Knowles, Executive Director Business New Zealand, is the international employers' spokesperson at the International Labour Organisation's Conference discussions on an integrated approach to health and safety.

She says workplace health and safety is a fundamental issue that has to be done right.

"Having complicated health and safety rules that are hard to understand is a recipe for disaster. Currently the ILO has 39 conventions and recommendations, and 15 codes of practice, all relating to workplace health and safety. The aim of the next weeks' negotiations is to simplify and rationalise these so more countries make the commitment to health and safety in the workplace. Further it will integrate the technical assistance programmes the ILO offers into an overall education awareness-raising initiative of health and safety issues.

The work to be undertaken at this year's Conference is a test case for the ILO; if successful the integrated approach is expected to be used in many other areas of the ILO's work.

Anne Knowles has previously led other international initiatives on behalf of employers internationally with the ILO, including those on managing hazardous work factors, maternity protection at work and employment initiatives for people with disabilities.


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