OSH Prosecutes Rail Accidents - Bradford

  • Max Bradford
Occupational Safety and health

The Minister responsible for OSH (Occupational Safety and Health Service), Max Bradford, says a report implying his department does not have a role in rail safety is incorrect.

Mr Bradford was commenting on aspects of a Bell Gully Buddle Weir Redressing Personal Injury of Workers in the Port and RailIndustries report, commissioned by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

"OSH advises me that extracts of the report (provided to OSH by Radio New Zealand) contain a series of inaccuracies," Mr Bradford said.

"Releasing a report containing serious allegations about the safety of workers to the media, and which is wrong, before providing it to myself or OSH will make many people doubt the sinceretity and integrity of the union.

"The facts are that while the Transport Services Licensing Actestablishes a different safety regime for rail service operators,OSH has a significant role in ensuring that a rail service operator's approved safety systems meet the requirements of the Health and Safety in Employment Act - in other words that the health and safety of rail employees is protected.

"Rail service operators are required to notify OSH of any eventwhere serious harm has occurred - and this includes not only employees involved in the operation of rail vehicles but also those involved in support operations such as workshops and track maintenance.

"OSH can and does investigate serious accidents to rail employees. It has conducted four prosecutions of Tranz rail, while two further cases are pending. This demonstrates that the Health and Safety in Employment Act can and is applied to rail services operators."