Occupational safety and health

Garner isn’t too impressed with Woodhouse either

The Michael Woodhouse fan club is shrinking daily.

Now Duncan Garner has joined the fray, questioning his abilities.

John Key warned his Cabinet crew not to become arrogant and pick up that dreaded disease third-termitis.

Unfortunately, the vaccination hasn’t worked. Some of his crew look a bit green in the gills and have been caught asleep at the wheel in their plush Beehive offices.

The Government’s workplace health and safety reforms are an old-fashioned cock-up.

The man responsible is the minister, Michael Woodhouse, a likeable and decent sort of chap. But apparently hopelessly out of his depth on this one.

Yes, his officials have let him down. But the buck always stops with the minister. That’s what the big salary and the Crown limos are for. ? Read more »

Karl du Fresne on Woodhouse’s stupidity

The health & safety law was pushed through parliament last week in all its glory as we found out worm farming and lavender farming were categorised as high risk.

Karl du Fresne analyses the ineptitude from not only the minister but also the opposition, media and the unions.

You could understand why unions felt betrayed by the government?s back-pedalling, but that was a wild overstatement.

Certainly the bill was weakened, especially when you consider that 97 per cent of workplaces employ fewer than 20 people. But the majority of those workplaces are not high-risk, so the outcry was a bit theatrical. So was the carefully orchestrated presence at Parliament of widows and families bereaved by workplace accidents.

It was only to be expected that the unions would extract maximum leverage from the situation. After all, they don?t get many opportunities these days to put runs on the board. But there were moments when I felt those widows and families were?too blatantly?being used in pursuit of a political agenda.

As Workplace Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse pointed out, larger workplaces ? which, although relatively few in number, employ 75 per cent of the labour force ? will still be subject to the requirement to have elected health and safety representatives. And all the other provisions of the legislation will still apply to smaller workplaces, so they?re not ?off the hook?, in the minister?s words.

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Michael Woodhouse has got the schools in a spin about Health and Safety

Michael Woodhouse really does have tits for hands.

His Health & Safety debacle keeps on rolling on from one disaster to the next.

Now school principals are talking about having to close down their playgrounds.

Principals have misunderstood proposed changes to health and safety laws which they fear could sting them with huge fines for injuries on playgrounds, the minister in charge says.

School principals say they’ll have to carefully scrutinise sport, camps and outside education under the planned health and safety laws.

They say the Health and Safety Reform Bill – likely to be passed into law tomorrow – singles out principals, who’ll face potential liability of up to $600,000 or five years in prison if things go wrong at school. ? Read more »

He might have had confidence in Woodhouse at the start, I bet he didn’t by the end

Michael Woodhouse has made a complete balls up of Health & Safety legislation and had to suffer actually very good questions from Andrew Little.

John Key may have laughed off some of the questions but the bottom line is this, there is no way that butterfly and worm farming are more risky than dairy farming. Labour can bash National endlessly with this and it is simple for any deadhead, except Michael Woodhouse, to understand.

This is National’s light bulb and shower head moment and there is plenty of time to play on this. Labour can ask day after day after day whether or not butterfly farming or some other innocuous occupation is safer or or not than dairy farming and people will laugh, because it is that ridiculous. ? ? Read more »

Michael Woodhouse may be an idiot, but Key is letting him roam free


You can see why wiser and more experienced heads stood up and told Woodhouse to can this abortion of a Health and Safety policy. ?

Already watered down to keep all the rural MPs from revolting, the remainder is such a joke that I can only assume their attitudes were ?fine, we?re not going to help you – see how the public like this?. ?

Kerre McIvor disabuses the idiot of his brilliance.

I don’t know how Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse did it.

He released the list of industries classified as high risk under the Health and Safety Reform Bill this week and there he was, fronting a posse of press reporters and defending the listing of worm farms and mini-golf parks as high risk.

There wasn’t a flicker of unease to indicate he thought the whole thing a bunch of arrant nonsense.

The minister wants to hold on to the gig, so he’ll spout the party line.

Worm farms, lavender farms and cat breeding have all been deemed high risk. Beef, dairy and sheep farming, however, are not considered dangerous occupations. This despite 104 farm workers having died over the past five years.

Woodhouse said risk was determined by the number of deaths and injuries measured against the number of workers. ? Read more »

Unions, now Labour, are going for Michael Woodhouse Health and Safety ?RMA? botchup

After a very noticeable absence since the Chinkygate Asian bashing, it appears that Angry Andy has been told to suck it up and come back out in public to explain why the polls are crashing all around Labour. ?

Credit where credit is due,?Lisa Owen holds Andrew Little to account for Labour’s hypocrisy…they want tougher laws, but are criticising the government for every little nit-picking part.

Okay. Let’s move on to the Health and Safety Bill. Now, you’re opposed to it. But Peter Dunne told us that he can’t believe? and this is a quote from him. Labour’s ‘breath-taking hypocrisy’, ‘because however incremental, this bill does make things better for workers, he says. Are you playing politics with worker safety?

No, I’m not. Look, health and safety is an absolutely crucial part of, you know, good workplace relations and good workplace practice. After Pike River, the disaster and the tragedy that was Pike River, that wasn’t just about a big employer. It was about small employers and businesses of fewer than 20 workers. That was a disaster that was avoidable with good systems, but most importantly, good culture. So the main thing about the Health and Safety Reform Bill was about getting things in place to have a good culture in the workplace, and there was a consensus about that, and what the bill was first introduced, it was actually in pretty good nick, and I sat on the select committee, and we heard employers, and National Party were very good. Something has changed in the last few months, and I think what’s happened is that the National Party has decided, or their supporters in the farming lobbies have said, ‘We don’t want a bar of this.’ And even though that is the sector that has the worst record of fatalities and serious accidents, this government is bending over backwards to exclude our businesses and our farming businesses that actually need legislation like this to improve their performance.

So Labour wants every business included…but opposed a bill that includes many more than already covered…surely there is a disconnect here?

So you would want all businesses to have a safety… health and safety officer, regardless of their size or the risk? All of them?

It’s about having, you know, the art of health and safety. What it makes it work is when front-line workers ? the front-line workforce ? owns it, understands it and is involved in it.

So would you like those front-line workers to have the option, whatever the size business they’re working in or the risk level, to have a health and safety officer?

They should have the right to have one if they want it, and the reason for that is that when you’re dealing with your, you know, health and safety issues, concerns you have about safety at work, actually, going to a peer, going to your equal in the workforce is a way better way to go than relying on a manager or the boss who may not know the full detail of it, which has been, unfortunately, practised in far too many fatal accidents in workplaces so far.

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Unions consider taking government to court over giving farmers a health and safety “get out of jail free” card


Michael Woodhouse’s bill is a dog, and not fit for purpose.

It beggars belief that National is even bringing in this woeful piece of nanny-statism but they are. What is worse though, is Labour and now the unions are fighting hard on this but from different angles.

Labour won’t vote for it because it doesn’t go far enough, and so risk not putting in place the one piece of legislation that might actually improve worker safety. Their hypocrisy is there for all to see.

The unions, however, are far more consistent….they want the law passed, but they want it extended to every business and are prepared to go to court to enforce it.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions will consider seeking a judicial review of the exclusion of farming from health safety reforms currently going through Parliament, president Helen Kelly says.

The Government changed a bill reforming health and safety law after it was introduced following intense lobbying from the farming sector. ?? Read more »

According to Michael Woodhouse and his dud legislation worm farming is a high risk occupation

Apparently worms have bloody big teeth…surely they must because Michael Woodhouse’s dud Health & Safety legislation has declared worm farming as high risk.

The Health and Safety Reform Bill, will classify worm farming and cat breeding as high risk, ahead of sheep, beef and dairy farming.

A list of industries classified as ‘high risk’ was released by Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse, and included the category “other livestock farming.” ?? Read more »

Cool, could the “Evil Demon Beast” now announce he is going to stand for Auckland’s mayoralty

Maurice Williamson is happy to be an ?evil demon beast? for standing up for National party principles in making sure small business weren’t over taken with dopey OSH laws as originally drafted by the equally dopey Michael Woodhouse.

Watered down health and safety laws are a step closer to becoming law – with opposition efforts to ensure all small businesses have health and safety representatives failing.

Amidst emotive speeches at Parliament, backbench National MP Maurice Williamson said he was happy to take the label of “evil demon beast” from Labour as he was opposed to overly stringent health and safety requirements being put on business.

Family of some of the men killed in the Pike River mining disaster – the spur for the law change – watched from the public gallery, after earlier protesting the weakening of the legislation.

The Health and Safety Reform Bill passed its second reading 63 votes to 56, after support from National, Act, the Maori Party and United Future.

Labour, the Greens and NZ First voted against the legislation.

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NZ is best place in world to be a hooker

There are so many statistics and areas of expertise where we are number one.

Now it is claimed that we are the best?place on earth to be a hooker.

New Zealand is the best place on Earth to be a prostitute, says a local sex workers’ advocate.

Catherine Healey, New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective national co-ordinator, told an Australian news website New Zealand was the best country to work in the sex industry.

She said laws here around sex work were the world’s most effective and exploitation was kept at bay.

“We’ve effectively allowed sex workers more control over what they choose to do,” she told the news.com.au site.? Read more »