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Govt must respond on health and safety after report tabled

Government must respond on health and safety after Royal Commission report tabled

The Green Party hopes that the Royal Commission report into Pike River provides positive solutions for improving law and regulations around health and safety, and their enforcement, that will prevent any further tragedies occurring.
West Coast based Green MP Kevin Hague, pointed out that the Commission heard a number of submissions from experts pointing out that the further “upstream” – into factors like the regulatory environment and enforcement – the response focused, the more effective it would be in reducing New Zealand’s shocking record of workplace injury and death.
“Figuring out what went wrong at every level is important for accountability, but is even more important to prevent further loss of life, and that means Government must step up to its responsibilities as well as the industry and those involved in Pike River Coal specifically,” Mr Hague said.
“Successive Governments have failed to address glaring regulatory loopholes surrounding hazardous activities such as mining, and they have failed  to ensure that compliance is monitored adequately.
“The creation of a High Hazard Unit to monitor hazardous workplaces, and the review of occupational safety and health currently under way, have been good first steps. Mandatory safety standards and the return of check inspectors are two elements that we hope to see recommended by the Royal Commission’s report.
“Let’s remember though that this was despite the Government’s earlier repeated insistence, in response to Green Party pressure, that they could do nothing till the Royal Commission released its report.
Once the report is tabled the Green Party will be looking very closely at how the Government responds and is keen to collaborate on pushing through further measures that enhance workplace safety, Mr Hague said.


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