Workplace deaths remembered

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A remembrance event for employees who died at work is being held today at Pilot Bay.

Today is Workers Memorial Day and Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said services were being held around the country to remember New Zealanders who died at work.

"Earlier this month new health and safety law came into force. This new law means that kiwis are safer at work. But there is still work to be done," Mr Wagstaff said.

"We know that people that work on farms need better protections, particularly those using quad bikes. We also know that elected health and safety representatives are crucial in keeping working people safe but are under attack by some employers.

"We must also address is the menace of asbestos - New Zealand's worst workplace killer. We urge Cabinet to ban the import of asbestos containing materials but that is not enough. We need a plan to eliminate it from our buildings."

The Tauranga event is being held at Pilot Bay, Mount Maunganui between 12-1pm.

Speakers include Tamati Coffey of the Labour Party and representatives from local iwi, activists and unions, Worksafe NZ and the Green Party.

In May, there will be Coroner's hearings into the forestry workplace deaths of Charles Finlay and David McMurtrie.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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