31 October 2001
Wilson's New 'Big Stick Bill' Won't Change Workplace Accident Statistics
The Government's Health and Safety in Employment Bill will do little to change New Zealand's appalling workplace
accident statistics, National's ACC spokesperson Gerry Brownlee said today.
"The Bill imposes more compliance costs on all workplaces in New Zealand, regardless of accident record, and punishes
those employers with bad workplace safety only if caught. If penalties were the answer they would have worked years ago.
"The Minister should concede that allowing private, competitive accident insurance created incentives for employers to
keep workplaces safe.
"Under the current regime, two businesses in the same industry class but with opposite accident records pay the same ACC
"Under the private market, the business with a good workplace safety record was rewarded with a lower levy, and the
business with a poor record had a financial incentive to make their workplace safe.
"This Bill may see a few businesses at the rough end tidy up their act, but in reality very little will change for New
Zealand workers in high risk occupations. Businesses on the other hand will face increased compliance costs and
bureaucracy in the workplace. It is evident unions will move to control workplace safety committees using the 'good
faith' provisions in this Bill.
"Margaret Wilson has missed an opportunity to be innovative and creative, instead she has been true to form and reverted
to what might have been a great idea in the 1970s. New Zealand workers are the losers," Mr Brownlee said.