New safety laws must be tough, says ACTU

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na­tional set of health and safety laws needs to be strong to help re­duce the num­ber of work­ers who die or are in­jured on the job, the ACTU says.

ACTU pres­i­dent Ged Kear­ney says an es­ti­mated 7000 work­ers die from work­place in­jury or disease each year while an­other 640,000 staff are in­jured.

At­tempts by em­ployer groups to weaken the reg­u­la­tions are an ex­am­ple of busi­ness putting prof­its be­fore safety, she says.

‘‘The ultimate aim of the reg­u­la­tions must be to pro­tect work­ers’ safety, not re­duce the amount of work busi­ness must do to com­ply,’’ Ms Kear­ney says.

She says Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics finds the new reg­u­la­tions will not in­crease com­pli­ance re­quire­ments or costs for busi­nesses.

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