15 August 2002
What Value Is A Workers' Life?
Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson slammed insignificant fines which undervalue workers’ lives today.
Ross Wilson said the $30,000 fine against Crusader Meats for failing to keep a worker safe earlier this year was woefully inadequate.
Petunia Waaka was tragically and horrifically killed while cleaning an untested revolving door at the Crusader Meats Bennydale factory.
“This worker had no training in the operation of the contraption which killed her, and unnecessarily lost her life simply because her workplace was unsafe,” said Ross Wilson.
“Even the Judge at this morning’s Te Kuiti District Court hearing commented that the amount does not reflect the price of a life,” he said.
Ross Wilson said new health and safety legislation was urgently required and fines must be increased.
“We have heard a lot for politicians and employers’ representatives criticising so-called exorbitant fines for employers,” he said.
“The reality is in this tragic story of a young mother of three who had a right to go to work and return safely home.”