26/08/2013 - Industry insights
Last month the Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, announced the most significant reform of the New Zealand Health and Safety system in 20 years. “The 'Working Safer' package represents a major step change in New Zealand’s approach to meet our target of reducing the workplace injury and death toll by 25% by 2020,” the Minister said.
The reason behind the reform is simply because too many work related deaths and illnesses from work related conditions happen every year. The Pike River disaster is a prime example of 29 unnecessary deaths along with the other estimated 600-900 work related deaths that occur annually.
The reform package includes:
• an overhaul of the law, supported by clear, consistent guidelines and information for business on their requirements
• more funding for WorkSafe New Zealand to strengthen enforcement and education and implement the changes
• a focus on high risk areas
• stronger focus on occupational harm and hazardous substances
• better coordination between government agencies
• improved worker participation
• stronger penalties, enforcement tools and court powers.
Z is very supportive of the government’s move to take safety more seriously nationwide. It is something we are really passionate about and we pride ourselves on aiming for zero harm in the work place. It’s not going to be a quick or easy task, it will require all of New Zealand’s work force to get behind it and to believe that a change is necessary and possible.
Further details can be found at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/workplace-health-and-safety-reform
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