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Workplace death toll still too high

It’s a damning indictment on the Government that as workers gather to remember their lost workmates on Worker’s Memorial Day, New Zealand’s workplace death toll is still far too high, Labour’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“At least 46 people have died at work in the last year including 16 farm workers.

“This month new Health and Safety laws took effect that everyone hopes will help reduce the unacceptably high rate of deaths and injuries in New Zealand workplaces.

“However it will take much more than legislation to keep workers safe.

“In agriculture, long hours, low pay and few opportunities for rest contribute to workplaces that are not as safe as they should be. Attitudes need to change if the death toll is to come down.

“The Government let farm workers down when it denied them access to elected health and safety representatives by cynically manipulating the criteria to make sure dairy farms were excluded.

“If National thinks farms are safe then they are desperately out-of-touch.

“Kiwi families just want their loved ones to come home at the end of the working day. Labour is committed to making the changes National failed to deliver and reducing the workplace death toll,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.