15 Jul 2019

Worker injury from machinery and falls focus of latest proposals

10:49 am on 15 July 2019

The government has launched its latest proposed workplace health and safety reforms saying it's continuing to learn the lessons of the Pike River Mine tragedy.

NIain Lees-Galloway.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway Photo: Supplied.

A consultation document looks at ways to improve working with plant - machines, vehicles and equipment - structures, heights and excavation work.

The reforms will continue the work to implement the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and address the issues identified by the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy and the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.

Stakeholders will be given three months to provide feedback.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the regulations involved in the consultation were outdated and full of gaps so the government was modernising them.

Mr Lees-Galloway said on average 58 people a year died from injuries involving plant or structure work, making up three quarters of work-related deaths.

"There are high serious-injury rates for falls from heights, particularly in the construction sector.

"Fit-for-purpose regulations will support businesses to manage risks and make a real difference in improving our rates of work-related harm and fatalities," he said.

He said as part of the consultation he wanted to hear a wide range of views.

"Businesses will have insights into how to implement regulations, while workers know what makes the most impact on the ground."