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Workers And Employers Deserve Better

Media release
8 November 2004

Workers and employers deserve better

The move towards increased measurement of workplace injury and illness in New Zealand is welcome and long overdue, says Business NZ.

Commenting on a report released today by the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee, Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said the lack of hard data meant that policies on work-related injury and disease used 'estimates based on estimates'.

"Workers and employers both deserve better than that," Mr O'Reilly said.

"The Committee's report itself is partly based on overseas data, as little or none exists in New Zealand, and the overseas data is also based on estimates.

"The report clearly indicates there is more work to be done in collecting data, analysing results and offering solutions, which needs to be based on good science and justifiable conclusions.

"With the establishment of new laws and higher levels of education employers have in the last few years taken health and safety to new levels, including controlling occupational diseases and improving safety around hazardous substances. This has not always been the case as the report shows - the level of understanding we have today simply did not exist in the past.

"We need to ensure that the Labour Department's OSH service works as effectively as possible with employers, employees and unions to gather better information to minimise risk of harm."

ENDS

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