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National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe

The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and forestry industries had the highest number of entitlement claims as a proportion of all claims within the industry. Also, agriculture and fishery workers have consistently had the highest claim rate since 2002.

“The National Government must commit more resources immediately to help reduce injuries in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries,” said Ms Roche.

“Workers in these industries are often de-unionised and have to work all hours in variable weather.

“There are currently no regulations preventing work in poor weather for these high risk occupations.

“In regard to forestry, there are no regulations regarding working in poor light.

“While New Zealand continues to avoid putting in place regulations around such basic safety measures, workers in these industries will continue to be killed and injured.

“Worksafe New Zealand needs to start pushing for reforms that actually make a difference to New Zealand’s poor health and safety record for workers,” Ms Roche said.

“It is also essential that the Health and Safety legislation that has yet to finish its Select Committee process is pushed up the Government’s legislative agenda and passed.”