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Work Deaths Show Need For Partnership Approach

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kate Wilkinson
Kate Wilkinson

With more than one person a week dying in a workplace accident, a proposal to involve New Zealand's top business leaders in bringing down the work toll is timely and welcome, says Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson.

On August 12, Ms Wilkinson will meet with more than 25 senior executives from the country's largest companies alongside the chief executives of the Department of Labour and ACC.

The group will discuss a proposal to form a Chief Executives' Forum on Health and Safety that would see business and Government work together to reduce injuries and illnesses at work.

"Business leaders are in a prime position to influence attitudes and practices in their own industries, and among the smaller companies they buy and sell from," Ms Wilkinson says.

"That means they are also perfectly placed to help us stop people dying or getting hurt at work, so we can keep businesses and New Zealand working.

"Safe and healthy workplaces are also more productive and we need that productivity to drive a stronger economy."

Provisional figures released today show that in the year to June 2009 the Department of Labour investigated 55 work-related deaths.

This number doesn't include deaths investigated by other agencies, such as Maritime New Zealand, the Civil Aviation Authority or the New Zealand Police.

The proposal to create a Chief Executives' Forum was first aired at a meeting in May between the Minister, ACC, the Department of Labour and about 40 business leaders.

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