Pike tragedy sparks health and safety agency

Last updated 13:07 21/02/2013

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A standalone health and safety agency is to be established in the wake of the Pike River mining tragedy.

Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced the change today and said a stand-alone Crown agent was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission on Pike River.

There used to be an Occupational Health and Safety unit within the Department of Labour which was later absorbed into the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Bridges said the new agency would be set a target of a 25 per cent reduction in workplace fatality and serious injury rates by 2020.

"The Crown agent will enforce workplace health and safety regulations and work with employers and employees to promote and embed good health and safety practices.

Legislation to establish the agency was expected to be introduced to Parliament in June and the agency will be in place by December.

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