August 25, 2015
Bushcraft safety lost
A leading trade unionist says Maori need to keep up the pressure over the new health and safety bill because it’s their whanau who are at a higher risk of being injured or killed on the job.
Parliament will resume debate on the bill today.
Syd Keepa, the Maori vice president of the Council of Trade Unions, says 217 workers have been killed at work since the Pike River mining disaster which prompted the reform, but the bill put to parliament last week will do little to halt that rate.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing, where there are high numbers of Maori workers, account for about half of all accidents.
Mr Kepa says the government has watered the bill down, excluding businesses with under 20 staff and giving employers the upper hand on all decisions about appointing health and safety representatives.
It’s a big change from when he worked in forestry.
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