Health and Safety Reform Bill: A failed opportunity to make history
The damaged, flawed Health and Safety Reform Bill has been voted through its final stage this afternoon.
"The Government had a chance to make history here” said CTU General Counsel Jeff Sissons. “Instead, they have added another chapter to a saga of missed opportunities and unnecessary death, pain and suffering for workers. New Zealand workers deserve better.”
When the Bill was introduced, it had the support of all political parties, workers and business. It was a foundation to rebuild New Zealand’s broken health and safety system. Sadly, the Government lost its nerve in Select Committee and the Bill came back bearing dozens of cuts and compromises to appease National’s backers. The law will be less effective and more workers will die and be hurt as a result.”
"The disaster at Pike River mine is a scar on our history. Creating better, safer law was promise the Prime Minister made. John Key has broken his promise to me and to all the families of the 29 men who were killed at Pike almost 5 years ago," said Pike widow Anna Osborne.
"The CTU will consider a judicial review of the proposed decision to excludedangerous industries such as dairy farming, beef farming, sheep farming and stone quarrying from being considered ‘high risk’ and eligible for health and safety reps. The proposal is based on dodgy criteria and sends exactly the wrong signal to these industries about getting health and safety right.” Sissons said.