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Health and Safety Review Announced

Published 25 Jun 2012

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson has announced the membership of an independent taskforce that will undertake the first wide-ranging strategic review of the workplace health and safety system in 20 years.

“New Zealand’s workplace death and injury rates are not improving and are poor in comparison to countries like Australia and the United Kingdom,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“The Government is taking action to ensure we get better results and see a 25 per cent reduction in workplace deaths and serious injuries by 2020.

“In addition to boosting workplace health and safety funding by $37 million in Budget 2012, we are making sure the current health and safety system is fit for purpose.”

The Taskforce will be chaired by Robert Jager, Chairman of Shell in New Zealand and General Manager of Shell Todd Services. Other members are Mavis Mullins, Director at Paewai Mullins Shearing; Michael Cosman, Managing Director of Impac Services; Paula Rose, former National Manager Road Policing; William Rosenberg, Policy Director/Economist for the Council of Trade Unions; and Paul Mackay, Manager Employment Relations at Business New Zealand.

It will review whether the overall workplace health and safety system – including legislation, regulation, incentives and enforcement – is working effectively to reduce workplace injury and death.

Ms Wilkinson says the taskforce will recommend a package of practical measures to the Government in December.“Our health and safety legislation is now 20 years old. This review is timely, particularly with the rebuild in Canterbury gearing up, and the Royal Commission into the events at Pike River due to report back in September.

“The taskforce members are a balance of business and worker interests, along with specialist health and safety practitioners.“There will be public consultation as part of the review and I expect the taskforce to report back to me with their recommendations by the end of this year.”