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.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Arrested After Ashburton Shooting

Police apprehended Russell John Tully just after 5pm this evening following the armed incident in Ashburton this morning.

Canterbury dog section and AOS apprehended Tully not far from Lake Hood. No shots were fired although Tully will be treated for minor dog-bite injuries.

Tully is now in custody at Ashburton Police Station. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news