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Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”


26 May 2015
Media Release

Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”

The government must not water down changes to health and safety legislation which are vital for New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

“The Prime Minister has hinted he will back down on health and safety if it’s “overly onerous” on small businesses. This is the wrong thing to do,” says Bill Newson, EPMU national secretary.

The health and safety legislation arose from the findings of the Pike River Royal Commission and the government’s own Health and Safety Taskforce.

“After the disaster at Pike River, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get this right,” says Bill Newson.

“Both the Royal Commission and the Health and Safety Taskforce recognised the importance of strong worker participation in improving health and safety.

“Independent, genuine worker participation leads to better health and safety. Worker-elected health and safety representatives and worker-focused health and safety committees keep workplaces safe.

“Our current health and safety systems aren’t good enough. They need to be fixed. For the Prime Minister to say it’s just too hard to keep workers safe and healthy is unacceptable.”

ENDS

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