• Rebekah.Orr

Hope Springs Eternal!

There are times that one despairs of the gap that there seems to be between the decision-makers and the people who have to live with the consequences of the decisions that are made in those mysterious high places (using what would sometimes appear to be dubious reasoning!). Too often, there's a lack of consultation from those involved in the applicable circle (yes, recent gun law changes, we're giving you seriously filthy side eye), and arguably worse, a lack of understanding on the subject in terms of the shot callers - how does anyone expect to make an intelligent decision on a matter they know little to nothing about, especially if they don't listen to those that do have the knowledge required?

However, yesterday, with the release of a discussion paper pertaining to workplace health and safety, we have been given hope. Cue sunshine streaming through the clouds and angels singing a hallelujah chorus! (We would say that's us singing hallelujah, but I won't lie to you, we don't sound that good....)

Until October 4, Workplace Relations minister Iain Rees-Galloway is seeking feedback on this discussion, to have the proposals implemented in 2021. With plant or structures-related deaths making up 84 per cent of agriculture deaths, 82 per cent of construction deaths, 93 per cent of fishing and shearing deaths and 69 per cent of manufacturing deaths, it's well past time we had a discussion about how to keep people safe at work in a practical way. An average of 58 people per year die at work - and we're pretty damn sure that all of those are preventable, but with some of our H&S legislation having been untouched for 40 years, we're way behind the 8 ball.

As evidenced by the recent defeat on the cricket ground, we hate losing to anyone, but we're taking a beating in the H&S statistics. Aussie and England are pounding us on this one, but we've got a chance to make up some ground now.

If you've got something to say, please get it said! This is our chance to shape legislation that keeps people safe at work, makes sure that mums and dads get home to their kids every night. We know you work for them, we know you'd die for them. But nobody should be dying putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their kid's heads.

Everything you need to know about getting your voice heard is here https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/implementing-the-health-and-safety-at-work-act-better-regulation-plant-structures-and-heights

You've got heaps of time, so start now and make sure you say everything you need to! We sure will be!

And as always;

take care out there.

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