25 Jul 2015

Workplace safety regulations inadequate - campaigners

10:00 pm on 25 July 2015

Campaigners pushing for stronger workplace safety regulations believe the latest version of legislation fails to deliver what was promised by the Government.

Under the Health and Safety Reform Bill reported back to Parliament yesterday, small businesses will not be required to have elected health and safety representatives, unless they are in high risk industries.

Leslie Kidd, whose son Lincoln died in a forestry accident in 2013, said no one had yet defined which industries will be considered high risk.

"Who are they going to monitor it? Are the resources there to follow up on these small businesses?"

Ms Kidd said the legislation was an insult to all the families who have lost loved ones in workplace accidents.

"At the most difficult time of your life you have to stand up and fight for something that should be a given. It's so unfair."

Meanwhile, farmers are relieved to now have clarifty on what parts of their properties fall under the legislation.

Among the changes are more relaxed rules for farmers.

Federated Farmers' health and safety spokesperson Katie Milne said it would have been a shame if farmers had had to lock people off their land.

"Farmers were petrified that if someone hurt themselves on their property they were going to be liable for it, regardless of whether they were working for them or not."

Ms Milne said there is still a way to go with the Bill, with concerns remaining about who is responsible when a farmer and contractor are working together.