8 Aug 2013

Call for industry-specific safety rules

1:48 pm on 8 August 2013

One of the industries considered high-risk says new health and safety regulations need to be customised for each sector.

The Government is introducing a new law based on the Australian system. It will include stronger penalties for individuals who break the law, including fines of up to $600,000 and up to five years' imprisonment.

Reckless corporations will face fines of up to $3 million and courts will have stronger powers to order them to take certain actions.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges says new health and safety regulator WorkSafe, which is to take over in December, will target high-risk sectors such as construction and forestry.

The chair of the health and safety council for the minerals industry, Chris Baker, says the safety issues are industry-specific but if new rules are customised there should not be a problem.

Mr Baker says a unit like the High Hazards Unit, which oversees the mining sector, is appropriate and would work in concert with broader health and safety legislation.