CTU Calls for More Action On Hazardous Substances
“Many New Zealand workers suffer unnecessarily from the harmful effects of hazardous substances because their employers disregard minimum standards,” said the Council of Trade Unions health and safety co-ordinator Greg Lloyd, today.
A Ministerial Inquiry into the Management of Certain Hazardous Substances in Workplaces is hearing submissions today. The inquiry is looking at the management of glutaraldehyde, other aldehydes and organic solvents.
Greg Lloyd said minimum standards should to be more stringently enforced by OSH.
“OSH conservatively estimates that 400 people die every year as a result of work and many of those deaths are the result of exposure to hazardous substances,” said Greg Lloyd.
Greg Lloyd said that too often workers’ health was ignored because the priority for their employers was financial cost.
“The top priority should be the health and well-being of workers,” he said.
“Workers, through their
union, should be involved in every aspect of the management
of these substances and there should be a much more
proactive approach to worker education and training.”