web analytics

The two realities of Health and Safety at work will be on show this week

Written By: - Date published: 3:46 pm, July 19th, 2015 - 7 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

This week three big things are happening which will show how detached this Government is from the realities of workers and their families working in dangerous workplaces.

  1. The private prosecution over the death  of Eramiha Pairama

Aged 19, killed in a forest in December 2013.  Remember that year – 10 dead in forestry.  Well this kid was one of them and the NZCTU begins the private action on this case tomorrow in the District Court in Rotorua.  It is being taken under the current law and it is not fair to comment too much today but it is worth remembering Eramiha was killed in a small workplace.

2.  The Coroners hearing into the death of Charanpreet Dhaliwal.

Aged 22, killed in 2011 on his first night at work as a security guard.  The justice system and current health and safety law has failed Charanpreet miserably, and all that is left if this hearing which begins on Wednesday this week on the North Shore in Auckland.  The CTU is providing legal representation to Charanpreet’s family.  It is worth remembering that Charanpreet was killed in a small workplace.

3.  The report back of the Select Committee on the new Health and Safety Reform Bill on Friday.

This Bill recommended by the Governments Taskforce on Health and Safety following the Pike River explosion had a huge level of consensus for it.

It is now being watered down including in the most important area recognised by both the Taskforce and the Pike Inquiry – worker participation.

Workers in every workplace under the current law can elect to have health and safety reps and it was intended this continue in the new law and the roles of these reps be extended. Reps are then entitled to undertake approved training (approved by the Minister) and once they have done that they have the rights and functions listed below.

Along with other nasty changes the Government intends to remove the right of workers in workplaces under 20 to have these reps – removing all these functions and rights from these workplaces unless they are separately regulated as “high risk”.  The Minister has even suggested to us that agriculture may be excluded from this group – and security?

Business, workers and families have objected to these changes which will shift us backwards not forwards.  And all in a week where two real families with real workplace deaths fight for justice. 

 

Watch our campaign video here and join our campaign.

 

Functions and powers of health and safety representative

(a) to represent the workers in the work group in matters relating to health and safety:

(b) to investigate complaints from workers in the work group regarding health and safety:

(c) if requested by a worker in the work group, to represent the worker in relation to a matter relating to health and safety (including a complaint):

(d) to monitor the measures taken by the person conducting the business that are relevant to health and safety:

(e) to inquire into anything that appears to be a risk to the health or safety of workers in the work group arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking:

(f) to make recommendations relating to work health and safety:

(g) to provide feedback to the person conducting the business about whether the requirements of this Act or regulations are being complied with:

(h) to promote the interests of workers in the work group who have been harmed at work, including in relation to arrangements for rehabilitation and return to work.

Rights of a Health and Safety rep include:

(a) attend an interview concerning work health and safety between a worker whom the health and safety representative represents and an inspector; or the person conducting the business at that workplace or the person conducting the business representative.

(b) to  enter and inspect a workplace after giving notice or without notice if there is an incident or situation of serious risk

(c) request a person conducting the business to provide any information necessary to enable the health and safety representative to perform his or her functions or exercise his or her powers.

(d) be assisted by another person for the purposes of performing or exercising his or her functions

(e) accompany and  inspector in the workplace or consult with the regulator or inspector about any work health and safety issue

And the person conducting the business must consult with the Rep,  meet with them as requested, allow the rep to spend time doing their job, provide the info necessary to do the job including info about hazards etc, allow them to have access to the workplace,  and most importantly if a health and safety representative makes a recommendation regarding work health and safety, the person conducting the business must adopt the recommendation or  provide a written statement to the health and safety representative setting out the reasons for not adopting the recommendation.  There are fines for employers that don’t meet these obligations.

 Reps will also be able to issue provisional improvement notices under the new law if they reasonably believes that a person is contravening, or is likely to contravene, a provision of this Act or regulations.  They must consult the person first and unless the notice is challenged with an inspector, the contravention must be remedied. This makes them the eyes and ears every day at the workplace.

 

7 comments on “The two realities of Health and Safety at work will be on show this week ”

  1. Atiawa 1

    When a percentage of the workforce is excluded from Health & Safety laws on the basis of employee numbers it sends a message to all those involved in that business that H&S is not required to be taken seriously.
    It beggars belief that a government is remotely considering a different set of standards and laws for a smaller group of workers in comparison to a business who employs more workers. It’s like having a lower breath alcohol limit for drivers in country areas because there are fewer vehicles on the road compared to cities & towns.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    The National Party is a clear and present danger to New Zealanders, and therefore, our national interests. Its policies do direct economic, physical, social and environmental harm, and they’re for sale to party owner/donors.

    Their civil war takes a heavy toll.

    • Atiawa 2.1

      Absolutely OAB.

      I admire your ability to sum up the realities of divide & rule politic’s.

  3. RedLogix 3

    I don’t know that I can add anything more to Helen’s very clear and direct analysis above. One small detail I can add – which is very much a tangent to the workplaces deaths and injuries is the rather odd way in which agriculture is being treated.

    In particular Federated Mountain Clubs has made a submission and a release stating:

    Health and Safety Bill threatens outdoor access.

    Hunters, Trampers, Climbers and Mountain Bikers are adding their voice to those calling for changes to proposed health and safety legislation that threatens to ‘lock gates’ in rural communities.

    The Health and Safety Reform Bill removes a specific provision in the current legislation which limits landowners responsibility to recreationalists and replaces this with a provision that all landowners must do what is ‘reasonably practicable’ to ensure the safety of all people to their workplaces.

    “The problem is, that when a landowner is faced with the uncertainty of his or her responsibilities towards recreationalists, it is ‘reasonably practicable’ to lock a gate and put up a sign saying ‘no access’” said Bill O’Leary, President of the New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association.

    Ben Wilde, of Trailfund New Zealand, which advocates for New Zealand’s growing number of mountain bikers agrees and emphasises that what landowners need is clarity.

    “The specific provision limiting landowners duties to recreationalists has worked well, strengthen it by all means, but to take it away and leave only a general duty for lawyers to argue about is criminal. Landowners will quite rightly put public access to their properties in the ‘too hard basket’ and recreational oppportunities will suffer.”

    FMC President, Robin McNeill thinks the saddest thing is that the reform will continue to erode the social bonds that hold communities together.

    “Trampers, hunters and climbers have long relationships with many fantastic farming families. These are good people that are proud of their land and have often bended over backwards to accomodate, and sometimes rescue, outdoor recreationalists. They understand how important their places are to us. We are their friends, not their problem. We don’t want that relationship undermined by poor legislation”.

    http://www.fmc.org.nz/2015/07/17/health-and-safety-bill-threatens-outdoor-access/

    There remains the possibility that this change has come about through sheer negligence and incompetence. With this govt that has to be the default explanation.

    But then again I’d not put it past them to have sneaked this change in to suit big global corporatised agricultural interests who have zero interest in the local community and are very keen to have a reason to simply lock up their land.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      My bf suggests that the new health and safety legislation will also require private landlords that are renting their property out to be responsible for the health and safety of any contractor / tradesman that enters the property for work.

      If it is an owner-occupied house, then the contractor / tradesman is responsible for their own health and safety (within reason; a literal death-trap would be the owners responsibility of course).

      The current law makes a specific provision for private landlords, but the new bill doesn’t.

      Something you might want to investigate further, RL.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Thanks for the heads up Lanth. These are potentially very real issues for many, many people.

        But yeah I have to conclude it’s probably just incompetence after all.

  4. adam 4

    If people can get upset over this. And rightly so.

    http://www.afl.com.au/news/2015-07-19/anz-stadium-not-ideal-says-clarkson

    Why do we have a government, who not only does not care if you get injured at work – but can die there as far as they are concerned?

    Why are the interest of the bullies, and the cheap – the voices this governments listens too?

    Why are we putting up with a government who lied to the families of Pike river, then rubs it in their collective faces – by producing legislation that is removing workers ability to go home at the end of the day, safe and alive to their family?

    Ask yourself this – what would you do if your partner, son, daughter, brother, sister or other family member – died at work, just because the Boss was cutting cost to make them richer?

    How far do we have to regress morally, till people get upset by this issue?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    41 mins ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to help clean up contaminated sites
    The Government is supporting the clean-up of contaminated sites in Northland, Dunedin and Southland to reduce risk to people’s health and protect the environment. Environment Minister David Parker said the funding announced today, through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund, will help us turn previously hazardous sites into safe, usable public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Predator Free apprenticeships open up new job opportunities
    The expansion of a predator free apprenticeship programme is an opportunity for more people to kick-start a conservation career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme is focused on increasing the number of skilled predator control operators in New Zealand through a two-year training programme. “The Trust ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further NCEA support confirmed for Auckland students
    The number of Learning Recognition Credits for senior secondary school students will be increased for Auckland students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. This recognises the extended time these students will spend in Alert Levels 3 and 4. “It means students in Auckland will have a fair opportunity to attain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Long-term pathway next step to better mental wellbeing for New Zealanders
    The Government is taking a new approach to support people who experience mental distress, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Kia Manawanui Aotearoa – Long-term pathway to mental wellbeing (Kia Manawanui) is the first 10-year plan of its kind that targets the cause of mental distress and also sets out how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
    The Government is committed to keeping our frontline police officers safe, so they in turn can keep New Zealanders safe – with one of the largest investments in frontline safety announced by Police Minister Poto Williams at the Police College today.   The $45 million investment includes $15.496 million in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clean Vehicles Bill passes first checkpoint
    The Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Bill will help New Zealand drive down transport emissions by cleaning up the light vehicle fleet, Transport Minister Michael Wood says. The Bill passed its first reading today and will establish the legislative framework for key parts of the Government’s Clean Car Package, including ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Funding boost supports ongoing Māori COVID-19 response
    The Government is responding to the need by whānau Māori and Māori Health providers to support their ongoing work responding to COVID-19 and to continue increasing rates of Māori vaccination, Associate Minister for Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare and Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today.   This increased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Significant increase to COVID-19 penalties
    Penalties for breaches of COVID-19 orders are set to significantly increase from early November 2021 to better reflect the seriousness of any behaviour that threatens New Zealand’s response to the virus, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Throughout this Delta outbreak we’ve seen the overwhelming majority of people doing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill returns to Parliament
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has returned to Parliament for its second reading in an important step towards giving enforcement agencies greater power to protect New Zealanders from terrorist activity. “The Bill addresses longstanding gaps in our counter terrorism legislation that seek to protect New Zealanders and make us safer,” Justice ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago