Hazardous Substances Inquiry
Thursday 28 November 2002
The government has set up an Inquiry into the management of hazardous substances in the workplace in line with its election commitment, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson announced today.
Wellington barrister Denis Clifford, who will be supported by medical and scientific experts, is chairing the Inquiry. Work will start before the end of the year with a report back date of 30 May 2003.
"This Inquiry was included in Labour Party Employment Relations Policy commitments because of ongoing concerns in the community and workplaces." Margaret Wilson said.
The management of hazardous substances in the health sector, manufacturing sector and the printing industry, and the general use of glutaraldehyde, other aldehydes and solvents will be addressed.
Margaret Wilson said the Inquiry will identify how employers and others with responsibility in workplaces, including self-employed and employees, manage these particular hazardous substances; and if there are any factors that limit the ability of employers and others to implement effective systems for managing hazardous substances. It will also identify options the government may have to address any issues.
"The Inquiry will seek written submissions and also convene public hearings. This will provide an opportunity for both employers and employees who have experience in managing these substances to have their views considered in this difficult and overlooked area," she said.
"Denis Clifford's experience will be invaluable given the complex legal and jurisdictional issues surrounding the legislation governing workplace management of hazardous substances."
Inquiry process guidelines and further information can be found at: www.hazsubstancesinquiry.osh.govt.nz This website will be updated throughout the Inquiry process.
The Inquiry Administrative Support Officer Joanne Brown or Inquiry Manager John Gilbert can be contacted on (04) 915 4547, fax (04) 915 4587 or by email: email@example.com