Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Strapping the chicken for agriculture

When the government passed the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 - which notably excluded agriculture but included "worm farming" in its list of high-risk occupations - Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse told us that the exclusion wasn't deliberate, but based on an the risks.

He lied:

Dairy farming was initially rated as one of the highest-risk industries during health and safety reforms before the Labour Minister, Michael Woodhouse, intervened and changed the criteria, documents show.


In a more detailed list, based on ANZSIC Level 3 figures, "dairy cattle farming" was rated in the second-highest category, which meant workers were exposed to levels of risk "greater than twice the average and up to three times the average (for severe injury), or up to four times the average (for fatality)".

Two weeks later, Mr Woodhouse's private secretary sent an email to officials with new criteria for the "high-risk" category and a list of industries. It did not include dairy farming.

So, he deliberately rigged the risk levels to achieve the outcome he (and National's farmer-cronies) wanted. And then he told the public and Parliament that he hadn't. He's lied to us and he's lied to the House. And he should be sacked for it.