24 Nov 2010

Union wants safety check inspectors reintroduced

9:24 am on 24 November 2010

The union representing mine workers, the Engineeering, Printing & Manufacturing Union, is calling for the reintroduction of safety check inspectors at mine sites.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little told Morning Report that reviews of incidents in underground mines have shown many might have been prevented if someone had been able to check all of the safety elements were in place.

He said safety check inspectors were removed in the late 1990s.

Mr Little said a Labour Department review in 2008 found that New Zealand's mining standards lagged behind those in many Australian states.

But he believes the report was overlooked.

Mr Little urged the Government to look at the report's recommendations after the rescue effort is complete.

In a submission to the review in 2008, Pike River also asked that more mine inspectors be made available.