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Employers and employees urged to work together

Employers and employees urged to work together

Labour Minister Margaret Wilson today urged employers and employees to work together over the next two months to ensure that when the Health and Safety in Employment Act Amendment comes into force on May 5 they have a shared understanding of workplace safety requirements.

“The amendment is about creating a culture where there is zero tolerance for the behaviours which cause accidents and ill health in the workplace, “ she said. “And there does need to be a culture shift. `She’ll be right mate’ when it comes to health and safety is too much the culture at the moment and the way to change it is by involving everyone in the workplace.”

The Occupational Health and Safety Service has produced a range of easy to understand information booklets on the Act and the key changes. These are being distributed this week to key groups in the community who are encouraged to read and understand the new provisions.

Margaret Wilson said early next month more than 100 free seminars would be held around the country to distribute these resources more widely, and to give employers and employees an opportunity to get the information they need.

“I recommend the OSH publications to employers and employees alike,” she said, “and I commend OSH on the work it is doing to lead change.”

The targeted booklets cover: managing stress in the workplace involving employees in health and safety at work the rights and responsibilities of employers, the self employed, employees and volunteers.

OSH recognises there is best practice already in New Zealand workplaces and invites employers and employees to share their experiences through the Workinfo website www.workinfo.govt.nz, Margaret Wilson said.

The website also has detailed information on the Health and Safety in Employment Act. In addition, queries can be directed to free phone 0800 20 90 20.

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