Government Contributes to Workplace Deaths on Roads Monday, Nov 3, 2003
Years of Government inaction and pilfering of road users funds is a major contributor to New Zealand's largest cause of workplace deaths – motor vehicle accidents, said Charlie Pedersen, Vice- President Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).
Mr Pedersen was commenting on the Health Research Council funded report released today that revealed that New Zealanders who die at work are most likely to die in a motor vehicle crash.
“New Zealanders should be appalled that the Government continues to berate employers for the state of their off- road workplaces when the Government themselves have been neglecting the roads. The Government is two-faced in its approach to health and safety. Through the Land Transport Safety Authority and Occupational Safety & Health it forces individual businesses to spend their own money on injury prevention when the Government thinks the benefits outweigh the costs.
“When it comes to the Government's expenditure on roads the criteria suddenly changes and the Government only insists when the benefits are four times the costs.
“If the Government is serious about workplace safety it must lead by example and put its money (or more accurately motorist's money) where its mouth is.
“Everybody knows the Government has the money to make the roading network safer. If all the money collected from road users was spent on roads a further $850 million could be spent on roads. This would nearly double the Government's current roading budget.
“The Government needs to get real. Roads are the lifeline of the urban and rural businesses and communities” concluded Mr Pedersen