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Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond


Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.

“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those who have been killed and injured at work and their families.

“It is a time to reflect on the tragedy of lost life, to mourn for mates who are no longer with us and to grieve with their loved ones.

“It is also a time to acknowledge many workplaces can be safer. The Health and Safety Reform Bill, currently before the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee, is Parliament’s opportunity to lead the culture changed needed to dramatically reduce the number of deaths and injuries at work.

“Important aspects of that legislation such as greater accountability for businesses and stronger systems of worker participation must be retained if the legislation is to make a meaningful difference to our nation’s workplace safety record.

“We must also remember that good employment relations legislation supports safer workplaces by making working people feel safe to speak up when they see unsafe practices. Precarious workers on temporary, casual and zero-hour contracts are far less likely to speak out if they fear the repercussions.

“Only through our actions can we truly honour those who have lost their lives at work. We can learn from the past to create a safer and more secure future for all New Zealanders,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.