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Business Roundtable Joins The Whingers

Business Roundtable Joins The Whingers Not The Investors

“The Business Roundtable is continuing the tired old lament that workplace health and safety is a cost when the smart countries and companies around the world are seeing it as an investment,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

BRT executive director Roger Kerr told the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Bill today that the Bill will add to business costs and has the potential to adversely affect economic growth.

“It is time that the BRT came out of the 19th century,” Ross Wilson said.

“There is overwhelming international evidence that excellence in workplace health and safety invariably coincides with excellence in productivity and profitability.

“The cost of accidents and disease in New Zealand workplaces is so high that far from adversely affecting economic growth, achievable investment in prevention could double our national growth.”

Ross Wilson said that the latest BERL forecast was for 2.3% GDP growth for the 2003 (March) year.

“With the cost of accidents at 4% of GDP ($4.5 billion per annum) a reduction of just 50% would add more than $2 billion to, and would increase our economic growth to 4.3%,” he said.

“Yet all we hear from business spokespeople like Roger Kerr are complaints about the ‘compliance costs’ of the modest changes the new Bill will introduce.

“Roger Kerr should be made to front up to the families of workers who are being killed in our workplaces in unprecedented numbers and tell them that nothing needs to be done”.

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