Government to set up new health and safety agency


The Government's focus on significantly lifting New Zealand's workplace health and safety record is behind the establishment of a new, stand-alone agency, says Labour Minister Simon Bridges.


The creation of a stand-alone Crown agent was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy.


"The new agency will have a dedicated focus on health and safety and underlines the Government's strong commitment to addressing New Zealand's workplace fatality and serious injury rates," says Mr Bridges.


"We have a firm target of a 25 per cent reduction of these rates by 2020.


"The Crown agent will enforce workplace health and safety regulations and work with employers and employees to promote and embed good health and safety practices.


"Today's announcement is a significant step in the Government's workplace health and safety reform programme.  It will sit alongside the work of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety which is due to report back at the end of April," Mr Bridges says.


The workplace health and safety functions currently sitting within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will transfer to the new agency, which is expected to be in place by December. 


Legislation to establish the agency is expected to be introduced to Parliament in June.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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