English-only guides put migrants at risk

Migrant workers could be missing out on crucial health and safety training because their employers only provide them with safety material in English, the TUC has warned.

As a result, along with the Health and Safety Executive, the TUC has published a safety leaflet translated into 19 different languages.

The guide, Your Health, your Safety: a guide for workers, has information about safety rights at work, the level of safety training workers should expect from their employers, and who they should complain to if they believe their safety is being compromised by poor workplace practices.

Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to provide all their employees with the appropriate safety training to enable them to do their jobs without risk of illness or injury.

Yet during 2004 there were a number of fatalities involving migrant workers employed in the UK, said the TUC.

TUC deputy general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Workplace deaths in the UK are on the increase and there is a danger we could soon start to see more fatalities and serious injuries at work as language barriers mean safety messages are going over workers’ heads.”


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