May 23, 2013
Pike River consultation encouraging
The EPMU is welcoming the start of public consultation into changes to mine health and safety recommended by the Pike River Royal Commission.
The union will be encouraging members to participate in the public consultation and is calling on employers to release people from work to allow them to attend the public meetings.
EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell says the discussion document released today is a step in the right direction.
“It’s heartening to see there is good progress being made on the Government’s pledge to implement all 16 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations by the end of the year.
“The decision to include quarrying and tunnelling operations under the new health and safety regulations is sensible, as workers in these sectors face similar hazards to those working in traditional mines.
“Similarly, setting up a mining sector advisory group, beefing up Mines Rescue and lifting training and competency requirements will all help make mine workers safer.
“We will be encouraging our members to take part in this public consultation, and we expect employers to respect their right to participate and release them from work accordingly.
“Mine safety is a matter of life and death for our members and it’s important they get the opportunity to have their say.”
The EPMU is the union for New Zealand miners and has been campaigning for improved mine safety since regulations were weakened in the 1990s.