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OSH law another business stranglehold

Gerry Brownlee National ACC Spokesperson

23 November 2001

OSH law another business stranglehold

The Government's proposed workplace law is yet another academic idea from Margaret Wilson that will punish business, National's ACC spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.

"There needs to be direct incentives for employers to keep workplaces safe through developing safe work practices. Fines of $500,000, as proposed in Margaret Wilson's Health and Safety in Employment legislation, won't do it.

"Both employers and workers could benefit from having safe work practices if accident cover was more competitive and the safest workplaces directly rewarded through lower premiums.

"Instead Margaret Wilson has assumed that every employer runs an unsafe workplace, but rather than implementing measures to generally raise standards of workplace safety, she is determined to punish all employers - but only if they are caught.

"Her legislation also fails to take into account employee carelessness. An employer cannot be expected to watch over staff all day to ensure everything is being done safely. Yet by not being allowed to insure against hefty accident fines, employers will carry the can.

"Everyone wants to see workers arrive home safe and well but, ironically, passing this Bill unchanged will only ensure that there are even less jobs to go to," said Mr Brownlee.


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