New Zealand health and safety report ‘damning’

May 16, 2013
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A MOTHER from West Byfleet continues to make progress in campaigning for tighter health and safety laws after her son died in a quad bike accident.

Linda Sewell lost her son Tom, 19, in an accident on a New Zealand fruit farm in 2008.

Linda, 54, of Old Avenue, spoke to experts from the independent taskforce on workplace health and safety in New Zealand and their findings have been published in a report presented to the country’s minster of labour.

Mrs Sewell said: “The commission’s findings are fairly damning and have identified serious flaws in the way the system operates. I would hope very much that the prime minister, John Key, takes the findings on board and makes appropriate changes, particularly making the department of labour more robust and professional in its approach and also making necessary changes to the law.”

Coroner Richard Travers concluded on January 30 at Woking Coroner’s Court that Tom was not being reckless but he was unaware of how to ride the all-terrain vehicle safely.

The taskforce’s report speaks of confusing regulation, inadequate leadership, and major hazards.

It remains to be seen if the New Zealand government takes recommendations on board.

Mrs Sewell was due to have a Skype call with Mr Key, but spoke instead to taskforce commissioners who will report to Mr Key’s office.

Mrs Sewell said: “My MP, Jonathan Lord, was extremely supportive and vowed to follow up on the lack of response from the New Zealand prime minister’s office.”

Mrs Sewell added: “This summer thousands of young people will head off on gap year adventures and New Zealand has a responsibility to ensure those youngsters are not put needlessly at risk.

“My advice is to be wary and do not take things at face value. Question things, especially around matters of safety, and if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.”

Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2134133_new_zealand_health_and_safety_report_damning


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