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Health and Safety Report glosses over Education and Training

Government’s Health and Safety Report glosses over Education and Training

8 August 2013

Industry Training Federation Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw says the glaring gap in the government’s workplace health and safety announcement today is training and educating workers.

“While we support the Government’s announcement to look at embedding health and safety at levels 1-6 on the NZ Qualifications Framework, this announcement is buried deep in the announcement,” says Mark. “Training and educating workers should be the very first recommendation to ensure safer workplaces.”

The Government’s announcement follows recommendations from the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.

“Across all industries, workers need the knowledge and information to understand health and safety procedures. This knowledge should be embedded into all workplace training, for the benefit of the workers, their employers, clients, and thewider community.”

Forestry, construction, the electricity sector and hospitality are stark examples of how training staff leads to less accidents, errors and health and safety risks. But there are examples wherever you look, including cleaning.

Research shows that cleaners who are well trained in infection control will save a significant financial and human cost. For example, the approximate financial cost of a Norovirus outbreak in a large restroom is $14,000.

“Training gives workers a deeper understanding of their work, and why they need to follow safety procedures,” says Mark. “To invest in safer workplaces we must invest in training our workforce. Embedding compulsory health and safety training into vocational training is an urgent priority for New Zealand.”

ENDS

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