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New ACC Dodgy Consultants Dream



The country's largest provider of accident insurance Fusion believes changes to ACC legislation currently before Parliament give trade unions a privileged position and open the door for shoddy workplace safety consultants to make a killing.

Fusion general manager Melissa Clark-Reynolds says changes to the ACC Transition Bill reported back to the House today are a dream for workplace safety consultants as companies will be able to gain lower ACC premiums merely by having a safety manual rather than at present where premiums are determined by safety record.

"It's a dodgy consultants dream because the Government is replacing experience rating which punishes bad employers and rewards safe ones with a system of premium reductions for companies with a health and safety manual.

"It will do wonders for bureaucracy but nothing for health and safety and may even diminish it. I am surprised the Greens have not opposed this legislation on the basis of the amount of paper which will be used printing masses and masses of health and safety manuals."

Melissa Clark-Reynolds says any health and safety consultant with a PC and word processing package will be able to make money from this by turning out customised manuals with a company's logo on the front.

She says the Government has ignored the pleas of hundreds of business people who have asked for the successfully functioning accident insurance system to be left in place but listened to the calls from trade unions to become actively involved in the accident insurance process.

"The Government has refused to require itself to consult with employers in key areas, including the setting of ACC premiums, and establishment of the Accredited Employer (self-insurance) programme yet they have inserted two new sections into the Bill requiring employers to consult with both employees and their representatives, that is trade unions, in establishing ACC procedures."

Melissa Clark-Reynolds says under the privitised accident insurance system there has been a major improvement in health and safety around the country and workers should be extremely concerned that the Government is taking away the incentive on employers to improve workplace safety.


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