Health and safety

E tū is a leader in the struggle to get better health and safety for workers.

Wherever workers are exposed to hazards, risks and dangers we need to speak up and be part of the big push to reduce the rate of injury and ill health. We cover a diverse range of industries and that means a diverse range of health and safety issues. Many of our members work in high-hazard environments that require a close attention to health and safety concerns.

E tū is the union for many obviously hazardous industries, such as manufacturing, mining, food processing, and construction. However, there are specific health and safety challenges at any workplace, and we organise to ensure workers in all the industries we cover are kept healthy and safe.

Health and safety issues are not limited to things like physical accidents or exposure to dangerous substances. Workplace bullying, violent behaviour or  an uncomfortable workstation are all health and safety risks. It’s important that we open up the debate about health and safety because every workplace is potentially dangerous and unions are all about decent work, dignity and respect for workers.

Unions know that effective health and safety practices require worker participation, continuous evaluation, and transparent and open relationships between workers, unions, and management.

Surveys show that both employers and employees consider health and safety one of the most important considerations at work. Leadership, shared responsibility and a positive workplace culture are important in creating healthy and safe workplaces. These can almost always be strengthened.

E tū Worker Leadership Programme: Ngā Puna Whai Oranga

Our new health and safety programme, developed with funding from AMI, is about promoting worker leadership for better health and safety outcomes, with a specific focus on leadership development for Māori, Pasefika, and migrant workplace leaders.

Our first hui is in May 2021. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Significant changes to health and safety legislation came into effect in 2016. They included new responsibilities for workers and employers, strengthened requirements for worker participation and representation, and increased penalties for breaches of duty. E tū provides training for delegates and health and safety reps as part of a package of support for members to ensure safe and healthy workplaces, so contact Union Support for information about these opportunities on 0800 1 UNION (0800 186 466).

Click here to read the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Click here to view “Building a Just Culture” – E tū’s guide to health and safety in the workplace