|Issue No 108||24 August 2001|
Unions Warn of More Deaths in Construction
By Mary Yaager
Exempting small employers from safety regulations in the construction industry for two years could lead to more deaths in the industry the CFMEU has warned
Andrew Ferguson Secretary of the Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy union said " there has been one death a week in the industry lately just last week a construction worker was crushed to death in a mobile cement machine and the week before that a grader backed over a worker killing him instantly"
'This is just unacceptable and while I congratulate the Government on the introduction of these new workplace safety laws. I am concerned about the transitional arrangements for small employers who will just sit on their hands for two years while the death and injury rate soars," Andrew went on to say.
According to Andrew the majority of employers in the Construction Industry are small employers and they are amongst the worst in terms of providing a safe workplace in fact this is where the majority of deaths occur.
The new workplace safety laws will commence on the 1st of September 2001 and will affect the majority of employers in the State
The Minister John Della Bosca said "that in the case of small business (fewer than 20), special provisions have been made to allow them to adjust with the new risk management provisions.",
The CFMEU and unions from other high-risk industries will be calling on the Government not to allow an exemption to apply for these employers.
Despite these concerns, the unions welcome these new laws which are long overdue.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005