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ACC/NZCTU health & safety rep training welcomed

ACC Minister welcomes ACC/NZCTU health & safety rep training

The first ever training for elected health and safety representatives marks a new approach to workplace safety that will benefit all New Zealanders, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Ms Dyson was speaking at the launching of the first two-day training programme in which ACC and the Council of Trade Unions have combined to deliver workplace safety education to elected employee workplace representatives.

The workplace representatives are elected under amendments to the Health & Safety in Employment Act 1992 that came into force on May 5.

ACC and the CTU aim to train 5000 health and safety representatives during the next 12 months.

"International best practice and research shows that when workers are involved directly in their own health and safety, the management of hazards becomes much more effective and injury rates are reduced," Ms Dyson said.

"Some workplaces have already established systems for employee involvement in health and safety. There are a lot of examples where employers are participating in the ACC Partnership Plan or the Workplace Safety Management Practices programme," Ms Dyson said.

"The changes to the HSE Act enable worker involvement in health and safety across the full range of workplaces, with provisions for training to ensure that involvement is of high quality."

Ms Dyson said the CTU had the network to deliver the programme and ACC's Injury Prevention team had worked with the CTU to develop the material used in the training.

"This a great initiative and the increased numbers of trained health and safety representatives will play an important role in reducing the toll of workplace injuries," she said.

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