08 November 2004
Shock Hidden Death Toll Requires Decisive Action
A new health and safety report revealed the shockingly high toll of decades of neglect in New Zealand workplaces and decisive action was required, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
The first report of the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee released today revealed that up to 1,000 workers died every year from occupational disease - up to 10 times more than died from accidents.
“This long-overdue research points to an occupational disease epidemic caused by poor workplace health protection over many decades,” Ross Wilson said.
“It is nothing less than a scandal that thousands of workers are dying because new toxic substances have been introduced into workplaces without proper protection.”
The CTU commended the Government for commissioning this report. “A taskforce is now required to identify the urgent action necessary to stem this developing epidemic,” Ross Wilson said.