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Keeping workers safe and supporting businesses to do it

Progress is continuing on protecting workers from harm and supporting businesses to manage the risks, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Everyone deserves to come home from work safe and healthy. Today we are making progress with the launch of a consultation on options to improve regulations for working with plant (eg machines, vehicles and equipment), structures (eg buildings and towers), at heights, and on excavation work.

“The regulations in these areas are outdated and full of gaps. We’re modernising them to ensure they are clear, effective, proportionate and durable. This reform continues the work to implement the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and address the issues identified by the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy and the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.

“On average, 58 people a year die from injuries at work involving plant or structures. That’s three-quarters of all work-related deaths. There are high serious-injury rates for falls from heights, particularly in the construction sector. Fit-for-purpose regulations will support businesses to manage risks and make a real difference in improving our rates of work-related harm and fatalities.”

A three-month initial consultation period will ensure stakeholders have enough time to provide feedback, Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Everyone has a responsibility for workplace health and safety, so we want to hear a wide range of views. Businesses will have insights into how to implement regulations, while workers know what makes the most impact on the ground.

“Many businesses are already managing risks from plant, structures and working at heights well.  We have made good progress as a country in recent years to improve our health and safety performance. However, there is still a significant amount of harm occurring and we can’t become complacent,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.

 

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