21 October 2002
CTU Challenges Employers To Co-operate
On New Health and Safety Law
“Our appalling workplace toll can be turned around if both business and unions commit to implementing the employee participation provisions of the new health and safety law,” Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson said today.
“The HSE Amendment Bill has now been confirmed after a detailed public submission and Select Committee process, and now it is time now for everybody to get on with making it work,” he said.
Ross Wilson said there was strong international evidence that employee and union involvement was crucial to successful injury prevention and health protection strategies.
“We have seen this year a sustained public attack on the proposed new osh legislation by employer spokespeople and some politicians,” he said.
“The message they are sending is that safety laws are an unfair compliance cost on employers, and that New Zealand workplaces are safe enough.
“That simply gives a licence to poor employers not to do anything about health and safety protection for workers.
“It is time we sent a consistent message, from political, business and union leaders alike, that the present appalling death toll is not good enough and that urgent action must be taken by employers and employees to clean up unsafe workplaces, and that must be backed up by strong laws.”
Ross Wilson said the CTU was challenging the employer organisations and parties who have opposed the HSE Bill to spell out very clearly what their policies are to address the workplace fatality crisis.