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


New forestry standards show nothing learned from Pike River

Wednesday December 5, 2012

New forestry standards show nothing learned from Pike River

The launch of new forestry standards today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MoBIE) show the department has learned nothing from the tragedy of Pike River and continues to provide weak leadership in the area of Health and Safety, the Council of Trade Unions said today.

“The standards were developed without any worker participation and by the very organisations in the forest industry that already show they have no understanding of the seriousness of the ongoing health and safety issues in the sector,” CTU president Helen Kelly said.

“The repeated claims by employers and owners that the industry is safe show they have no intention of improving.”

“Last week saw another worker killed and one seriously injured. That’s 13 in three years, as well at least 5 logging truck deaths since Christmas (not all drivers).

Helen Kelly said the CTU has considerable concerns with the standards including:
• No provisions for employee participation (despite this being a key recommendation in the Pike River Report).
• Weak provisions around vehicles (for example no requirement for seatbelts)
• Risk shifting to employees (for example stating that workers can refuse unsafe work but requiring them to work it out with their employer first rather than stating reciprocal obligations e.g. employers have an obligation to stop, listen and respond).

The CTU also has a major objection to the silence in the standards relating to employment rights and the obligations of employers to have fair employment agreements, Helen Kelly said.

“We believe working conditions in the industry are a major contributor to the accident levels including long hours and fatigue.

“On this matter the standards put the onus on the workers to manage fatigue, requiring employers only to provide ‘regular rest breaks, a meal break, a daily or nightly sleep period and shared driver responsibilities’. How this can be seen as best practice is unbelievable,” Helen Kelly said.

“The standards are very similar to the previous standards which were launched with great fanfare and have continued to fail workers in the industry.

“By promulgating these standards today, the Ministry is making itself complicit in the continued risk of workers in the forest industry,” Helen Kelly said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news