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Health and safety reform must strengthen training

For immediate release

8 May 2014

Health and safety reform muststrengthen training

Training is not emphasised enough in the government’s Health and Safety Reform Bill, says Industry Training Federation Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw.

“The ITF submission supports the focus on employer responsibility for health and safety in the workplace, but the training requirements are far too weak,” says Mark.

“Health and safety must be embedded into workplace training across all industries. Thisbenefits workers, employers, clients, and the wider community.

“Forestry, construction, electricity, and hospitality are areas where health and safety training leads to less accidents, errors and risks. But wherever you look, training makes a difference to workers and the wider community.”

The Bill requires employers to ensure, as so far as is reasonably practicable, the provision of training necessary toprotect persons from risks. “But this does not go far enough,” says Mark.

“Health and safety training should be arequirement for all staff, and health and safety standards embedded in all qualifications.”

Industry Training Organisations are ideally placed to build workplace the capacity of health and safety training through:

1. Leading the Occupational Health and Safety Mandatory Review

2. Embedding Occupational Health and Safety standards in technical qualifications

3. Addressing workplace literacy, language and numeracy

4. Making training available for managers and supervisors

“To invest in safer workplaces we must invest in workplace training. Strengthening health and safety training is an urgent priority for New Zealand.”

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