279 Infringement Notices issued by WorkSafe in past 2 years
The Ministry of Health has agreed to spend a paltry $20,000 on a pilot study sending Occupational Health nurses into South Auckland workplaces.
The NZ Engineered Stone Advisory Group, which represents most major suppliers, received a $300,000 ACC grant to establish a voluntary accreditation programme. Why was not a similar amount granted to the Occupational Health nurses who will be visiting workplaces to identify affected workers.
One in 10 Stonemasons diagnosed with lung disease after claiming ACC for exposure to engineered stone dust
WorkSafe have approached the construction industry asking for their help in finding former engineered stone workers who may have been exposed to silica dust for at least six months over the past decade. This needs to be open to anyone who has been exposed to engineered stone dust at any time not just the past decade.
In the early 1950s, a new unit for occupational health was established by the then Department of Health. The first appointee as "industrial hygienist" was Dr Tom Garland from the UK. His work led to the training of travelling occupational health nurses who visited factories. It also led to the development of local industrial health clinics for workers. Some of these clinics, such as one in Penrose (Auckland), were still operating in the early 2000s but most had closed by the early 1990s. (excerpt taken from The evolution of the OHS profession in New Zealand )
Fast forward to 2021 and it feels like de ja vu.... a pilot programme by the Ministry of Health now sending out occupational nurses to workplaces...
I strongly recommend people read The evolution of the OHS profession in New Zealand to better understand the challenges facing the OHS profession in New Zealand.