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Government isn’t walking the walk on health and safety

Government isn’t walking the walk on health and safety

All workers have the right to be safe at work and come home at the end of the day, no matter what size of employer they work for, says the EPMU.

“Workplace accidents don’t discriminate on whether your employer is large or small,” says Ged O’Connell, EPMU assistant national secretary.

“We’re extremely concerned that the government is backing down on health and safety. Exemptions for employers based on size and increased powers to tie up health and safety reps in litigation don’t make workers safer.

“Once again the government has talked the talk about saving lives and preventing injuries, but won’t walk the walk.

“We saw this when they removed quarrying – an industry deadlier than underground coal mining – from the Pike River legislation. Now they’re doing it again.”

The EPMU is concerned that a handful of irresponsible employers have had undue influence on the shape of the legislation.

“The government has had two independent reports spelling out very clearly what good health and safety law looks like,” says Ged O’Connell. “Workers get it, unions get it, employer associations get it.

“We’re calling on the government to do the right thing and strengthen this legislation to match international best practice and keep workers safe.”


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