9 Aug 2015

Vigil to protest workplace safety changes

11:48 am on 9 August 2015

The family of a forestry worker killed on the job is holding a vigil in Tokoroa to protest against proposed changes to workplace safety law.

Maryanne Butler-Finlay and her family

Maryanne Butler-Finlay and her family Photo: Supplied

Charles Finlay was killed when struck by a log in 2013 while working for M and A Cross, who last week pleaded guilty to breaches under the Health and Safety Act.

297 white crosses representing each life lost at work since the Pike River tragedy have been erected near Lake Moananui in Tokoroa.

Mr Finlay's widow, Maryanne Butler-Finlay, feared her husband's employer would not have been liable under the Health and Safety Reform Bill currently before Parliament.

"If they water it down, it's going to be detrimental to all New Zealanders that are working, especially in small business. It just doesn't make sense - it doesn't need to happen.

"People don't need to feel how me and my children feel - it's just devastating. You'll never be able to recover from a workplace death."

The controversial bill is expected to have its third and final reading in Parliament this week.

Unions said it would make it harder to prosecute companies, but the Government said it would make workplaces safer.

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