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Media Release

Wellington, 27 April 2013

Workplace Health and Safety Taskforce honours Workers’ Memorial Day

In honour of International Workers’ Memorial Day on Sunday, members of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety want to formally remember all of those New Zealanders who have been killed, injured or hurt whilst at work.

“The day, which falls on 28 April each year, is a time for New Zealand workers and employers to reflect on the critical importance of health and safety on the job,” says Taskforce Chairman, Rob Jager.

“Too many Kiwis are harmed or killed at work each year. The mine tragedy at Pike River is a very recent memory for us all, and the rebuild of Canterbury in the wake of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, involving thousands of people working on the reconstruction, is another reason for us to reflect on the challenges involved in keeping every single worker safe and well.

“Each death or serious injury is a tragedy with ongoing, devastating consequences for the families, friends and colleagues left behind – and it is our firm view that as a nation we need to make major improvements in our health and safety awareness and behaviour.”

After 10 months of public consultation, research and analysis, the Taskforce will deliver its report to the Minister of Labour, Hon Simon Bridges, on 30 April. It is expected that the report will be made public soon after.

Media contact:
Communications Adviser
Carole van Grondelle
0272 555 400

ENDS