|Issue No 107||17 August 2001|
Union Backs Call For Safety Review
The CFMEU has welcomed the call by the National Occupational Health and Safety chairman for a national review of safety in the construction industry.
"Professor Dennis Else's comments, quoted in the Sunday Herald Sun, echo this union's concern that much more could be done to reduce the horrific numbers of deaths and serious accidents on Australian construction sites," said John Sutton, National Secretary CFMEU Construction Division.
"Professor Else's call for an industry-wide review, with major contractors using their market strength to raise safety standards on construction projects, should be taken up immediately by the Federal Government."
The NOHSC chair's comments followed two deaths in four days on Melbourne building sites and a spate of deaths and serious injuries in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia this year.
"Professor Else's initiative has provided Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott with an important opportunity to show if he has any genuine interest in the construction industry.
The Howard Government's record on Workplace Safety has been pretty poor so far.
This is the government that decimated National Occupational Health & Safety Commission funding so that national Safety Standards for the construction industry, for example, are still sitting on the shelf unpublished.
Tony Abbott's predecessor Peter Reith made OH&S provisions 'non-allowable' in awards.
Now we have a Royal Commission into the industry with a brief to investigate any "unlawful or otherwise inappropriate industrial or workplace practice" relating to Occupational Health & Safety laws.
"If Tony Abbott has any compassion for the families and work mates of those who have died in construction accidents this year, and previously, let him act now.
"Either set up an independent review of safety in the construction industry, or ensure that the Royal Commission into the Construction Industry seriously investigates the causes of construction accidents and does not simply punish workers who refuse to work in unsafe conditions," said Mr Sutton.
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History: The Age of Dissent
The Sydney Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History has organised a Conference on Social Protest Movements and the Labour Movement, 1965-1975.
Media: ABC and the Knowledge Nation
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International: Brazil´s C.U.T. - When Big Is Beautiful
The CFMEU´s Phil Davey drops in on Brazil´s equivalent to the ACTU, the Central Unica Dos Trabalhadores (CUT).
Satire: Bracks Disputes Cabramatta tag
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has called for a national council to decide on a location for Australia's drug capital.
Review: Globalisation Is Globalisation
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005