Greens to prioritise fixing health and safety law

Changes to improve workplace health and safety law will be a priority for the Green Party when it is in Government, the Party’s Workplace Relations and Safety Spokesperson, Denise Roche, said today.

The Government’s widely criticised Health and Safety Reform Bill is set to pass its final stage in Parliament this afternoon.

“With the Government having voted down Green and Labour amendments to improve the Bill earlier this week, we are going to see a deeply flawed law coming onto our statute books,” Ms Roche said.

“While many people have had a bit of a chuckle at Minister Michael Woodhouse’s expense over his farcical statements about health and safety risks on worm farms, it is no laughing matter that workers are going to be injured and even die as a direct consequence of National’s weakening of this Bill.

“The inquiries that followed the tragic deaths of 29 workers at Pike River mine concluded that workers' representatives are essential to ensuring health and safety in the workplace.

“When the Greens are in Government we will make it a priority to change the law to ensure that all workers are entitled to have health and safety representatives, regardless of the size of their employer or the industry they work in,” Ms Roche said.