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New health and safety law from Monday

The Health and Safety at Work Act comes into force on Monday 4 April. The new law will mean that more Kiwis will come home safely from work.

We remember the disaster at Pike River in 2010. It was the event that told us that our health and safety laws needed immediate attention. We remember the 29 men who were killed at work, their families, and the continuing battle for justice and accountability for their preventable deaths.

CTU President Richard Wagstaff says “There has been some real progress since 2010 with the creation of WorkSafe and now the new law. Working people will be safer now that company officers have greater responsibility for ensuring health and safety is taken seriously.

Wagstaff remains concerned that people working in small businesses, of less than 20 people, have weaker protections with their inability to elect a workplace health and safety representative. “Workplaces aren’t safer because they are smaller. Our recent analysis of ACC injury data by firm size shows that people who work in smaller workplaces are more likely to be injured at work not less.

“All working people should be covered by this new law regardless of the size of the business they work for. We will continue to advocate for improvements to health and safety law.

“Today is a good day for working people. From today forward we have better, safer workplaces.”