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Media Release On Nohsac Report Hon. Ruth Dyson

#1 User is offline   ernie 

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 04:50 PM

Hon Ruth Dyson
08 November 2004

Workplace health and safety report shows way forward
A new report highlights the serious nature of occupational health and safety issues, Associate Labour Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Launching ‘The Burden of Occupational Disease and Injury in New Zealand’ - the first report of the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee - Ms Dyson welcomed its findings and said the government would give them careful consideration.

“The report shows that occupational diseases are killing and harming far more New Zealanders each year than occupational injuries. There are an estimated 100 deaths a year from occupational injury compared with 700-1000 deaths from occupational disease - most notably cancer, respiratory disorders and heart disease.”

Ruth Dyson said it was often harder to prove the link between health issues in the workplace than occupational injuries.

“Diseases like cancer, respiratory disorders and heart disease often take a long time to develop and can have multiple causes. The effects might not be felt until after the person has moved on to a different job or retired from paid work. However, this should not stop us from facing up to the challenges presented by occupational health issues.”

Ms Dyson said the figures in the report were based on overseas and New Zealand data, and there was a lack of information about occupational health issues in this country.

“We simply don’t know how many people die from work-related illness each year in New Zealand. This is unacceptable. The report is an important starting-point to gather the information we need to develop effective policies and practices for workplace health and safety.”

Ruth Dyson said the government had already begun to address some of the report’s recommendations.

“Occupational diseases such as cancer, respiratory disease, musculoskeletal disease and fatigue are currently targeted through the priorities in OSH’s current business plan and in the government’s draft Workplace Health and Safety Strategy for New Zealand to 2015.

“In this year’s budget, we also allocated additional funding of $3.1m over four years for occupational health and safety, which will have a strong focus on health research.”

Ms Dyson said she was committed to seeing occupational health and safety services strengthened, and wanted to see more occupational health practitioners employed in the field.

· The National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee (NOHSAC) was established in July 2003 to provide independent, contestable advice to the Minister of Labour on major occupational health and safety issues in New Zealand. The chairperson is Professor Neil Pearce from the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University.

Check out the report's findings and recommendations at

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 05:50 PM

Workers And Employers Deserve Better
Monday, 8 November 2004, 4:32 pm
Press Release: Business New Zealand

Media release
8 November 2004

Workers and employers deserve better

The move towards increased measurement of workplace injury and illness in New Zealand is welcome and long overdue, says Business NZ.

Commenting on a report released today by the National Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Committee, Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said the lack of hard data meant that policies on work-related injury and disease used 'estimates based on estimates'.

"Workers and employers both deserve better than that," Mr O'Reilly said.

"The Committee's report itself is partly based on overseas data, as little or none exists in New Zealand, and the overseas data is also based on estimates.

"The report clearly indicates there is more work to be done in collecting data, analysing results and offering solutions, which needs to be based on good science and justifiable conclusions.

"With the establishment of new laws and higher levels of education employers have in the last few years taken health and safety to new levels, including controlling occupational diseases and improving safety around hazardous substances. This has not always been the case as the report shows - the level of understanding we have today simply did not exist in the past.

"We need to ensure that the Labour Department's OSH service works as effectively as possible with employers, employees and unions to gather better information to minimise risk of harm."

ive got references to some dioxin exposure reports mr pierce did a wee while ago, must dig em out....

#3 User is offline   Fisher 

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 11:35 AM

Well hello! Last year we had the Ministerial Inquiry into Hazardous Substances! Nothing has been done todate!

Now we have the NOHSAC committee report that yet again points the finger of disgrace at the state of NZ's work place records for health & safety.

Is this going to turn out to be yet another smoke screen or might (If you see a pig fly by, please let me know about it) something actually get done about this disgrace this time! :wacko:

#4 User is offline   MG 

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 03:44 PM

I confidently predict that nothing will happen as a result of the NOHSAC report. it is one of a very long line detailing the fact that the government fails to provide its most vulnerable citizens with the basic necessities of life. See also: the Child Poverty Action Group report which the Government trashed at the weekend. There was also the government-commissioned report into the social and economic consequences of personal injury last year, which was highly critical of ACC's failings, and which the Government shoved into the wastepaper basket. Why doesn't the Alliance resurrect itself and fight these injustices? Labour cannot or will not antagonise its new friends in big business.

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