The Herald reports:
More than 50 industries have been identified by the Government as high-risk, meaning they will be not exempt from some requirements under the Health and Safety Reform law, even if they have fewer than 20 employees.
Industries include forestry and logging, road freight transport, coal mining, hunting and trapping, fishing, electricity transmission, horse and dog racing as well as any industry deemed to have potential for catastrophic risk in the event of accident such as oil and gas extraction and petroleum refining.
The definition used for high risk is objective, not subjective:
- Any industry with a fatality rate greater than 25 per 100,000 workers
- Any industry with a serious injury rate of more than 25 per 1000 workers.
Plus an business that carries the risk of a catastrophic event causing multiple fatalities.
But most types of farming will be able to claim an exemption, a move slammed by Labour leader Andrew Little.
“What we need is a good law and good enforcement and that is now denied a sector that has killed too many of their own.
“We cant have farmers happy for expensive [rescue] helicopters and ambulances to drive out to their isolated areas to cover them for their errors – some time fatal – and the taxpayer picking up their cost.”
The farming excluded from high-risk include dairy, beef, poultry and deer but the livestock farming included as high-risk is bee-keeping, pig-farming, horse breeding, dog breeding, goat farming and share-milking as well some types of crop growing.
Now bear in mind the only difference between small businesses that are in the high risk category and those that are not, is the requirement to allow a worker elected health and safety rep. That is it. All other requirements are the same.
Labour and the CTU see these reps as a way to unionise workforces, and of course increase funding for both their organisations. This is why they have focused on this relatively minor issue, ignoring all the other changes.
So they are saying that a family owned corner dairy with a couple of part-time staff, must have an elected health and safety representative, if even one person asks for it.