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EMA Trying to Undermine Health and Safety

EMA Trying to Undermine Health and Safety

“It is disappointing that some employer organisations are trying to undermine the health and safety laws which are aiming to improve New Zealand’s appalling rate of workplace accidents,” the Council of Trade Unions president, Ross Wilson said today.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) is criticising the funding of joint ACC and CTU training courses for workplace health and safety representatives.

The Health and Safety in Employment Act says that all employers have a duty to give workers the opportunity to be part of improving health and safety in the workplace. “To do this, health and safety reps need to be properly trained,” Ross Wilson said.

“ACC and the CTU have taken the initiative to make significant improvements to workplace health and safety by ensuring as many well-trained health and safety representatives as possible are in the workforce,” he said.

Last year OSH investigated 74 fatal workplace accidents. “Fewer workplace accidents will cost everybody less – including employers.”

Ross Wilson said international research showed that worker and union participation in workplace health and safety can dramatically reduce accidents and disease. The goal is to train 10,000 elected workplace representatives.

The CTU and ACC training course has been approved by the Department of Labour and by a board which included Business New Zealand.

Ross Wilson dismissed the EMA’s claim that the CTU is writing to employers and designating the employees it says should attend the courses. “This is nonsense. Staff must be nominated or elected under a system agreed by employers, workers and the union.

“The EMA would serve the health and safety interests of workers and employers by supporting this initiative, rather than sniping at it.”

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