Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Work Pressure and Long Hours Undermine Safety at Work

26 November 2012

Work Pressure and Long Hours Undermine Safety at Work

CTU is calling for increased powers for health and safety representatives, supporting the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a new Crown Entity, calling for a more prescriptive and robust health and safety legislative framework with worker participation at the centre and renewing calls for stronger penalties such as corporate manslaughter in its submission to the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety today.

CTU President Helen Kelly says “Pike River has been a tragic exhibition of the failure of a de-regulated health and safety legislative framework. We need a more clearly prescribed law and we need to change the cost element of requirements around ‘all practicable steps’. Costs should not outweigh health and safety unless they are grossly disproportionate to the improvements in health and safety that can be achieved. This is the test that is used in Australia.”

“We need to put workers at the centre of our approach to health and safety; health and safety workplace reps need to have the power to issue Improvement Notices and we need Health and Safety Advisors in our workplaces.”

“CTU conducted an in-depth survey of over 1200 health and safety representatives to help inform our submission and recommendations. The findings and statements from people who work on the front line of health and safety in New Zealand show we need to take a serious look at the way we treat health and safety in New Zealand” said Helen Kelly.

“13 percent of people reported being bullied for raising a health and safety issue at work. Of those who reported being bullied, 45 percent were bullied by management, and 41 percent were bullied by co-workers. This is unacceptable. We need to change our cultural attitude towards health and safety, we need to get to a place where it’s okay to raise concerns about health and safety at work without fear of repercussions and bullying and in the knowledge that concerns will be taken seriously.”

Helen Kelly says “nearly 60 percent of respondents reported that taking short cuts contributed to illness or injury at their workplace. When workers are under pressure to perform tasks at speed, or feel pressured to meet production targets, they can feel forced to take shortcuts and put themselves and their workmates at risk. Workplaces and companies that put profit over safety have got to change their priorities. We need to make worker safety the priority.”

“49 percent of the respondents reported fatigue and working long hours as a contributor to illness or injury at work. Workers working long hours, late shifts or more than one job are all contributing factors to our shocking injury statistics. We need to support our workers to be safe at work; part of this is paying a decent, living wage that so that workers can afford not to have to work all hours of the day just to get by,” said Helen Kelly.

“We are supporting the Royal Commission’s recommendation for a new Crown Entity, but that new entity needs to be tripartite in order for it to be effective. We know that unions play a strong role in health and safety – and our survey shows that union members have more experience as health and safety representatives: 53 percent of health and safety reps who are union members have served more than 3 years versus 37 percent for non-union members. A worker voice needs to be at the heart of health and safety in New Zealand.”

CTU Submission to the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety
Report on survey
In their own words: Individual responses to the Survey
Further information on survey results

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news