Employers Warned Over Migrants

Health and safety responsibilities

01.07.2008

Employers are being reminded of their responsibilities towards migrant workers and the provision of health and safety information to them.

HSE inspectors will be aiming to identify employers where migrant workers may be at risk due to inadequate induction and training or a lack of understanding.

HSE inspectors and environmental health officers are reminding firms that they have to manage health and safety of migrant workers and the premises in which they place such workers.

A spokesman said: "It depends on the relationship between the labour provider and user and the circumstances under which the work is being carried out.

"In many cases the employer, for the purposes of health and safety legislation, is likely to be the user rather than the labour provider, particularly where he/she controls and directs their activities. However, this will not always be the case."

Employers are obliged to provide understandable information, instruction, training and supervision, ensure workers are able to do their job competently and safely and make sure they know their employer is responsible for their health and safety.

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: " Migrant workers provide a significant proportion of both permanent and temporary labour in this country. Those responsible for their welfare have to ensure workers are properly trained and supervised so as to avoid any industrial accident.

"Sometimes, workers do not speak English and in such circumstances those employing them must ensure that safety information is properly communicated.

"I am seeing a large increase in claims for damages for compensation from migrant workers who have suffered injuries in accidents at work."