The Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety has built the wall and the need for change is written clearly on it, says Paul Jarvie, Manager of Health and Safety for the Employers and Manufacturers Association.
“The report’s recommendations mirror much of what EMA hoped for, but the budget to achieve it is meagre,” Mr Jarvie said.
“We have been promoting the need for a standalone agency for some years, and for the government to focus on helping businesses overhaul their workplace safety culture.
“These recommendations are very welcome.
“We will need the whole package to reform the pitiful state of workplace health and safety in New Zealand.
“But the budget allocation to reverse the situation is meagre.
“If we are to realise the stated vision – to become the best place in the world for people to go to work and come home safely – more investment by all stakeholders is needed.
“Compare the just announced bonus investment for tourism of $150 million with the extra $32 million a year to be set aside for reforming workplace health and safety.
“The stakes are high. Workplaces account for around 1000 deaths year at a cost of $3.5billion – two per cent of GDP.
“On top of that there are unknown productivity and social costs.
“Employers want to be deeply involved in the development and implementation of the new OH&S landscape.”