The Government promised to improve workers’ health and safety after the Pike River tragedy. They now want to reduce workers say over their safety and remove that right completely in small businesses.
The Government will announce the proposed changes to the Health and Safety Employment Act on Friday 24 July.
The Pike River Royal Commission and Work Safety Independent Taskforce identified poor workers participation as a key problem in New Zealand. Both recommend increasing workers involvement in health and safety.
Leading businesses, Business New Zealand and unions all support the recommendations.
A minority of small businesses lobbied the Government to back down on improvements. Their ‘she’ll be right’ attitude is irresponsible and they’re playing politics with workers lives.
Workers in small businesses are 35% more likely to have accidents, according to the Department of Labour.
Many of the men who died in the Pike River tragedy worked for small businesses.
The Government will be voting on the proposed changes mid-August.