Workers Memorial Day – too many Kiwis are being killed at work – CTU


In the last two weeks seven New Zealanders went to work and never came home. They were killed at work. This Workers Memorial Day, April 28th, we remember them and other working people who were killed at work.

“We must do better. All Kiwis should be confident that when they leave home they’ll be able to return home alive and well,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“No one should ever have to sacrifice their life for their livelihood.”

“New health and safety law has been in place for over a year now. It is deeply concerning that we still haven’t seen a significant improvement in the numbers of people being killed and seriously harmed at work.”

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“Last year just over 24,000* people had to be away from work for more than a week due to injuries they sustained at work. We can change this. It is possible for working people to be safe at work. Employers have a responsibility to show leadership and listen to those around them. Research shows that the best people to identify workplace hazards are the people doing the work – but their voices have to heard,” Wagstaff said.

* From page 2:


  1. Some working environments are inherently dangerous and there will always be fatal accidents while people continue to work in them. Esp. forestry , mining , fishing, construction. There used to be a labour dept that sent officers around all the time advising and inspecting work practices and facilities. Replacing that system with transferring the onus onto employers hasn’t improved anything, and neither has imposing massive fines when an accident occurs, constantly widening the net to see to it that someone can be made to pay who has the wherewithal to do so , no matter how far they are removed from being in a position to prevent the accident in the first place. Sometimes people take risks that can’t be anticipated, sometimes things happen that can’t be anticipated. The best defence apart from distribution of accumulated wisdom is to have time to think all the time.. what’s going to happen if?
    To get a fair assessment of responsibility and thence to improve the record, each incident needs to be examined on it’s own merits. It is not always the employer’s fault, and if this is never recognised then the situation will never improve.
    D J S

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