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Pike River Bill passes first reading

Hon Simon Bridges

Minister of Labour


27 June 2013 Media Statement

Pike River Bill passes first reading

Legislation to establish a new workplace health and safety agency, WorkSafe New Zealand, and to support health and safety regulations for mining has unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges says the Health and Safety (Pike River Implementation) Bill is an important part of the Government’s commitment to the Pike River families to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy by the end of this year.

The omnibus bill enables the transfer of relevant staff and assets from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to WorkSafe New Zealand in time for its December start-up.

The Bill also amends the Health and Safety in Employment Act and replaces the Mines Rescue Trust Act.

Key proposals in the Bill include:

• Requiring all mining operations to have a documented worker participation system that covers all workers at a mine

• Strengthening the functions and powers of site health and safety representatives, while ensuring this doesn’t unduly interfere in day-to-day mining operations

• Enabling the appointment of industry-wide health and safety representatives

• Extending coverage of the Mines Rescue Service to include underground metalliferous mining and tunnels that are longer than 150 metres; and updating legislation to better reflect the Service’s functions

The Bill also paves the way for a new set of mining regulations currently being developed.

Further information: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/pike-river-implementation-plan/health-safety-legislation

ENDS

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