Right now 28 miners are stuck down a Waihi mine with a fire causing noxious gases. 15 people are being decontaminated at Tiwai Point after an ‘incident’. At 3.30am the driver of a truck-trailer loaded pressurised cylinders died after crashing into Bulls RSA – probably asleep from the fatigue 24% of truck drivers suffer from with their long shifts. Yesterday a man fell 6 stories on a Fletcher Construction site in central Auckland and is now fighting for his life.
I hope and wish all those involved in these workplace accidents are brought home safe / suffer(ed) as little as possible.
The Department of Labour will investigate all these incidents, which will be a stretch given how National governments run down the department in charge of workers’ rights.
Hopefully the investigations will lead to safer work practices and fewer lives lost or damaged or risked. Hopefully the DoL will be able to enforce the practices it recommends.
Except – it won’t be the Department of Labour, it will be Steven Joyce’s new White Whale MoBIE, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. A ministry designed to be ‘Business-facing’, helping make businesses’ lives easier in their interaction with government.
Or for workers and their rights – a gamekeeper turned poacher if you will.
Here’s hoping the civil servants in the former Department of Labour section manage to shrug off pressure to make life easier for business and make it safer for workers.