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Business input invited on workplace safety review

June 18, 2012

Business input invited on workplace safety review

For the first time in 20 years the government is undertaking a wide-ranging review of New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system and Waikato businesses are being invited to have their say about it.

The cost of workplace injuries in New Zealand is reported at $1 billion per year.

“The changes coming out of this review will impact every business,” said Pau Jarvie, Health and Safety Manager for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

“A lot has changed in the last two decades - safety issues are quite different to what they were in the 1980’s,” Mr Jarvie said.

“The review will be wide ranging and significant given the recent investigations into the Pike River disaster and the Christchurch earthquake.

“EMA wants to know what Waikato businesses would like to see happen.

“Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has said she wants to see workplace accidents reduced by 25 per cent by 2020.

“The review will cover the current health and safety legislation, incentives to operate safe workplaces, getting employees more engaged with safety, and enforcement options.

“We want to see the emphasis shift so safety inspectors can partner with businesses to support and encourage their compliance in the first instance.

“So we support the role of the modern regulator as practiced in Australia, Japan and other countries where workplace safety inspectors are empowered to advise and assist businesses meet their obligations, and help them create a safe workplace culture while retaining their powers to investigate and police.

ENDS

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