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. A workplace bully is a health and safety risk, as is an uncomfortable workstation. It’s important that we open up the debate - every workplace is potentially dangerous. H&S is not only about injuries and bad health effects from work it is also about decent work and 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.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Significant changes to health and safety legislation come into effect on 1 April 2016. These include new responsibilities for workers and employers, strengthened requirements for worker participation and representation, and increased penalties for breaches of duty.

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

Below are some helpful resources that E tū has developed to help you get your head around the new legislative changes.

Summary of the new Act 

Model worker participation agreement 

List of high-risk industries

Remembering those who have died on the job