Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says.
“The Workplace Relations and Safety Minister set thresholds for what industries would be designated as high risk.
“There are 1000 severe injuries per year in dairying. If there were 1005, it would be classified as a high risk activity.
“This shows how ludicrous and arbitrary National’s entire attempt to exclude so-called ‘low-risk’ industries from health and safety protections is.
“This is on top of WorkSafe figures showing agriculture is the sector with the lowest level of accident reporting with less than 8 per cent of serious injuries being reported.
“Michael Woodhouse was criticised for setting these apparently arbitrary thresholds. However these figures show it is far more likely he set them so farming would be excluded.
“National has put its own interests ahead of the health and safety of workers.
“This legislation is already a national joke with worm and alpaca farms rated more risky than sheep and beef farming.
“Michael Woodhouse needs to fix this Bill – and the related risk categorisations – now ahead of its final reading tonight,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.