It’s six months since Charanpereet Singh Dhaliwai, aged just 21 died from head injuries after a horrific assault on the job.
He was on his first night working as a security guard watching over the Fulton Hogan site in West Auckland, and he was working alone.
He’s just one on a shameful list of workplace deaths and injuries as we mourn our workplace toll on Workers Memorial Day today.
Every year, I hope things will be better and we will see a different approach to protecting workers who go to work, expecting to return home safely to their families at the end of the day.
So what’s the government’s plan?
MOBIE – that’s the unfortunate acronym for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which will incorporate the Department of Labour and its Health and Safety roles from 1 July this year.
The least the government could have done was to wait until the Royal Commission on Pike River Mine reports back in September, because there are likely to be significant recommendations for change to protecting the health and safety of workers in New Zealand. I think our treatment of health and safety has become so negligent we should be considering whether we need a standalone agency.
An announcement from the government that they are putting the merger of the health and safety functions into MOBIE on hold pending major change to tackling our death and injury rates on the job would have been a nice message for the families and workmates mourning today.
Won’t happen though.
Postscript : Sincere condolences to the family and workmates of Herman Curry, bus driver, who died at work in Friday night.