MEL Health and Safety Consultants

Protecting Migrant Workers

Emphasis Placed on Risk Assessment to Address Specific Issues

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance on the subject of the protection of migrant workers in the workplace which can be downloaded from

The guidance outlines the approach to take, particularly in the case of small businesses, for those who employ migrant workers who have come to work in Great Britain in the last five years and are working, legally or otherwise, or other recently arrived workers from overseas.

The guidance will assist employers in thinking through some of the problems that can arise, and the steps to take to make sure risks are controlled.

The publication points out that risk assessment is a legal requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Employers with migrant workers in the workplace will need to consider, in particular:
  • language and communication issues
  • basic competencies, such as literacy, numeracy, physical attributes, general health, and relevant work experience
  • whether vocational qualifications are compatible with those in Britain, and are genuine
  • the possible effects of the attitudes and assumptions of workers new to work in Britain, or of British workers towards them.
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