The Government has to stop making excuses and regulate the forestry industry after the second death this week, Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton says.
“It is another tragedy for a New Zealand family with today’s death of a 28 year old man in a private forest near Nelson.
“Simon Bridges can threaten employers all he likes, but unless we have some laws in place that ensure the safety of forestry workers tragedies like this will continue.
“The first step must be new regulations that protect forestry workers working alone in our plantations. We must make sure they work regulation hours and they must not work alone in the dark.
“He owes it to the workers, and to their families to do something. He has already admitted this week that the death rate is too high . It is now well overtime that Simon Bridges acted.
“The cruel fact is that nine people have died in forestry accidents this year.
“ What he must remember it’s not just that terrible death toll, there were over 180 notifications of serious harm to workers in our forests last year.
“ I have to ask why New Zealand has to wait for March’s promised coronial enquiries into these forestry deaths, before we start making our forests safer.”