Issue 43 – October 2012
The number of injuries occurring in New Zealand workplaces every year would fill Eden Park almost four times. 'This is simply not good enough and needs to change,' said Rob Jager who chairs the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety (the Taskforce), which will make recommendations to government on how to reduce workplace harm.
The Taskforce today released a consultation document outlining the key issues it sees affecting workplace health and safety and seeking input from as broad a cross section of New Zealand as possible. 'New Zealand's workplace injury rates are about twice that of Australia and almost six times that of the UK,' said Jager.
'Workplace injuries are not an isolated issue – they affect everyone – and occur as a result of a combination of many things including changing workplace practices and environments, regulatory 'fitness', and perhaps even our own culture.
'So we know we have a challenging task in front of us and understand we need input from as many individuals and organisations as possible so that our recommendations to government are practical, deliverable, and sharply focused on reducing harm in the workplace.
'Simply put, the Taskforce's recommendations need to change New Zealand's poor track record. Achieving the required step-change will take the combined efforts of government, businesses, workers, unions, and society as a whole,' he said.
The discussion document describes a range of issues the Taskforce believes are at the core of workplace health and safety. At the end of each issue description there is a series of questions for respondents to answer directly or to use as thought starters.
→ The document is available online at www.hstaskforce.govt.nz. Respondents can fill in an online form to make a submission or provide their own written account to the Taskforce by email or in hard copy. Submissions close at 5pm on 16 November 2012.The Taskforce is due to report to government by 30 April 2013.
Summarised from a Department of Labour media release, 16 September 2012.