05 July 2005
New Health & Safety Laws Bring Down Workplace Fatalities
The 60 per cent reduction in workplace fatalities was a vindication of the 2002 health and safety law changes, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
The Department of Labour said the number of workplace deaths had dropped from 73 to 43 in the period from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2005.
“There is no doubt that the election and training of almost 20,000 workplace health and safety representatives has made a very important contribution to the safety of New Zealand workplaces,” Ross Wilson said.
Independent evaluators have reported on signs of a ‘sea change’ towards health and safety in workplaces following the introduction of the new worker participation systems.
“The implementation and training of health and safety representatives is an outstanding example of a successful partnership between the unions, business and ACC.
“It is very satisfying to see such a dramatic improvement,” Ross Wilson said. “One death per year is too many and zero is our target.”