August 14, 2006
Taking a stand for safe workplaces
Workers and their employers are being challenged to take workplace health and safety seriously in a bid to reduce the huge toll of workplace accidents and injuries.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that while some excellent work was being done, 65 New Zealanders had lost their lives this year in workplace accidents and hundreds more had been injured.
“All of us – workers and employers – must work together if we are going to bring down this appalling toll of death and injury,” he said.
“Today is the start of ACC Health and Safety Week, and we should all take the time to assess our workplace safety and to make a resolution to make sure that we and our workmates and employees go home safely after every shift.”
Mr Little said that research showed that involving workers and their unions in workplace health and safety systems dramatically reduced the incidence of workplace accidents and diseases.
“In our union we have nearly 1500 trained health and safety representatives, and a Council of Trade Unions/ACC campaign has seen more than 15,000 reps trained in the past four years,” he said.
“It’s a positive move, but there are many, many workplaces out there without trained worker reps. Today we urge them to take a stand, elect a rep and demand a safe working environment.”
Anyone wanting more information about workplace health and safety can call the EPMU support centre on 0800 186466.