Commemorate workers’ day by improving health and safety
27 April 2009
The Department of Labour is encouraging employers and workers to set aside time tomorrow to look for simple ways in which they can make their workplaces safer and healthier places to work.
April 28 is the World Day for Health and Safety at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day, and is a good time for people to think about how they can prevent injuries and illnesses at work, says the Department’s Group Manager of Health and Safety Services Maarten Quivooy.
“Every time someone is injured or killed at work, it takes its toll on family, friends, co-workers and communities. What is particularly disheartening to see is that so many of the incidents that occur are easily preventable,” Mr Quivooy said.
“Good health and safety practices make good business sense. The loss of a worker is a loss for the employer, and for the company. People are far more likely to work well and productively in a safe, secure, healthy environment.”
World Day for Safety and Health at Work, organised by the International Labour Organisation, is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work. Workers’ Memorial Day, sponsored by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, focuses on New Zealand workers who die every year as a result of their work.
In the year ended June 30 2008, the Department investigated the deaths of 53 workers. “Added to that, each year many people are seriously injured or become ill as a result of unsafe work practices,” Mr Quivooy said.
“We can do a lot better, if everyone – from individuals and businesses to industry groupings - pulls their weight.
“I would encourage every New Zealand workplace to commemorate this day by spending time reviewing their health and safety practices to ensure they protect people from hazards.”