The TUC has published an employers’ guide to help ensure the safety of migrant workers.
The document, Safety and Migrant Workers, warns employers that many migrant staff are more vulnerable than UK employees to illness, injuries or death at work due to a lack of safety training, non-existent or inadequate safety clothing and equipment, and poor English skills.
Problems with language and a poor understanding of the culture in British workplaces means that some ‘rogue employers’ are likely to be cutting corners and risking the health of their migrant workforce.
TUC regional secretary Roger McKenzie said: “Employers should be doing more to keep all their employees safe and well, wherever they come from. In workforces with many migrant workers, where language difficulties pose potential problems, bosses need to make that extra effort to ensure everyone knows how to stay safe at work.”
The TUC has also urged the government to stump up more money to make sure unscrupulous employers that flout the law are detected and brought into line.
McKenzie added: “Too often migrant workers face huge risks to their health, safety and welfare simply because their employers fail to carry out sufficient safety checks. Not providing protective equipment, failing to offer training, ignoring working time rules and paying illegal poverty wages is sadly an all too common experience for many workers who come to the UK.
“The average employer receives a visit from a safety inspector once every 12 to 20 years, and many small employers will never be inspected. Tragically, we are more likely to hear a report of a migrant worker being killed or injured than of an employer being prosecuted for failing to meet their safety obligations.”