Parliamentary record : Part I debates (22 August 1985)
Debates for 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 4th Assembly 1983 - 1987
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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Thursday 22 August 1985 3. That employers be required to report all hazardous incidents whether or not they result in injury. 4. That all workers be given statutory protection covering unsafe working conditions. 5. That the administration of all safety and related employment legislation be the responsibility of one department under one minister. 6. That ,research be undertaken into the effects of the use of drugs and alcohol on safety in the workplace. 7. That employers and employees be encouraged to agree on safety measures, including the provision of protective clothing and equipment, and to include these agreements in industrial awards. 8. That incentives be given to employers by way of merit discounts but only where they have both approved safety programs in place and good claims experience. 9. That penalties be imposed on employers with consistently bad claims experience. 10. That the commission be empowered to reimburse part or all of the cost of attending approved safety training courses. 11. That the commission be empowered to make grants to approved organisations for the promotion of safety awareness and practices. 12. That consideration be given to supporting the establishment of workers' health centres. 13. To implement the foregoing recommendations that sufficient occupational health and safety specialists and facilities be recruited and provided'. Mr Speaker, in my view, there is no doubt that, if that comprehensive package of recommendations on safety in the work force were adopted, we would see a very significant decrease in the number of workers' compensation cases that have to be dealt with and in the costs of the whole system. I would urge the government to support those recommendations. I want to make specific mention of the merit system again. J think one of the most successful ways known to encourage employers to maintain safe premises is to reward them financially if they do. You can reward them financially by offering discounts on the amount of the premiums they have to pay. Another point that the Doody report makes is that it is essential, if these recommendations are to be introduced and to work properly, that a proper collection of statistics be taken and kept. Obviously, under the new system, this has to be a high priority. The second major area is rehabilitation. The Doody report recommendations mark a significant change in emphasis from previous arrangements. Basically, the Doody report is aiming to get as many people as possible back to work. It states that greater emphasis must be placed on the rehabilitation of injured workers. It states that more emphasis should be placed on the social, 1218
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