An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney.
“It is disappointing that deaths at work haven’t decreased since the new law was introduced and for the families and friends of those who perished, it is utterly devastating.
“So far in 2016 a sad total of 43 people went out to work and never returned to their families.
“We always said that the agriculture sector should never have been exempted from the regulations.
“Agriculture continues to be the sector with the largest number of deaths since the law change in April – with 44 per cent of the total deaths recorded between May and the end of September.
“It is plain wrong for Federated Farmers to say that their death rate is driven by recreational deaths. Worksafe only records those that occurred while people were working.
“Their contention that some of the deaths happen on small blocks further highlights the absurdity of the decision to exclude those on small workplaces from the law.
“This is no time for excuses and downplaying of the impact of deaths at work – it is time for the Government to ask some serious questions about what is needed to improve safety at work,” says Sue Moroney.