Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Workplace Safety Law's New Risks, Costs

Media statement Monday, October 21st, 2002

'Stress' and 'fatigue' new hazards, costs for workplace managers, plus useful changes to HS&E Bill.

The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment tabled in Parliament today introduces areas of uncertainty which will add large new business compliance costs, the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern) says.

The association said instead of clearing up how stress and fatigue are to be defined as workplace hazards, the concepts bring new uncertainties to investment and employment.

But some useful changes have been made by the Select Committee with regard to how volunteers are to be treated under the law, and in some other areas, said Paul Jarvie, EMA's Manager of Workplace Safety.

"No one knows how to measure stress or fatigue, or when their causes are work related or brought from home," Mr Jarvie said.

"But from now on employers will be expected take responsibility for them, and pay more when they occur.

"Government's efforts to make workplaces even safer - people are safer at work than at home or at recreational activities - won't be helped much by the changes made at the Select Committee.

"Apart from extensive court work to decide on new legal definitions required, the HS&E fines have been dramatically and unnecessarily increased.

"The Select Committee has added more grey to the original Bill in places. For example it originally said employers would be expected to know the causes of stress or fatigue whereas the latest version states they should 'know or ought reasonably to know about' the stress or fatigue in question.

"All this does is add more layers of uncertainty to an already precarious position.

"Across the Tasman, 'stress' and 'fatigue' are a boom industry for claimants under the provisions of Australia's workplace accident insurance cover; we expect the same grievance industry to begin flourishing here.

"Since Government is determined to make stress and fatigue workplace hazards, we recommend that OSH be charged with extending their work to producing high powered operational guidelines for workplaces to adopt.

"For ourselves, EMA will be producing a comprehensive employers guide to their responsibilities under the new law."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Juggling Covid, And France’s Trump-like Populist

It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that may still be objectively true, it is no longer a politically tenable position... More>>

Covid-19 & Education: NCEA And NZ Scholarship Exams To Proceed

NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams will proceed, including in areas where Alert Level 3 has been in place, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health have been working together to ensure exams can be managed in a safe way, so students have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned... More>>


Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>


Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>


National: Launches Back In Business Plan

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has today launched National’s detailed plan to save livelihoods and unleash our economy in the face of the huge damage being wrought by the extended Covid lockdown... More>>


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>

Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>

Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>




InfoPages News Channels