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Address Workplace Fatalities Crisis

13 June 2002

CTU Asks Political Parties To State Strategies To Address Workplace Fatalities Crisis

“The CTU is calling on all political parties to clearly state their policies and strategies to reduce the appalling death toll in New Zealand workplaces,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.

The Department of Labour has announced that the number of workers killed in the current year (71) is almost double last year’s total (39).

“Given that this is the tip of the iceberg and more than 500 people die in New Zealand each year from work-related accidents and disease it is clear that we have a crisis which must be addressed with urgency,” he said.

Ross Wilson said that MPs had walked away from Parliament today without passing the Health & Safety in Employment Amendment Bill which toughens up the HSE Act.

“When you look past the rhetoric the reforms in this Bill are entirely consistent with similar legislation in countries such as Sweden, UK, Canada, and Australia, which have been considerably more successful than we have in reducing the toll of workplace accidents and disease during the past decade,” he said

“The CTU is challenging the parties who have opposed the HSE Bill to spell out very clearly what their policies are to address the workplace fatality crisis.”

Ends

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