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Migrant workers in the Construction Industry

 Since the extension of the European Union in 2004 there has been a significant increase the amount of migrant workers entering the country. In fact 10% of all construction workers are non – UK nationals. This has had great economic results but there have been a few issues especially when looking at Health and Safety and the effect on Liability Insurance claims.

Although this has been very helpful for the industry, it has caused some issues in respect of Health and Safety and consequently Public and Employer’s Liability Insurance claims to companies.

These issues have arisen, as there are notable differences within Health and Safety guidelines between Europe and the UK. Additionally, for most migrants, English is a second language; this coupled with the noise on site, could potentially lead to miscommunication resulting in injury. This could cause more visits from the Health and Safety Executive resulting in Enforcement penalties, fines etc, resulting in an increase in a company’s Employer’s Liability Insurance claims and larger overheads for construction companies.

Recently published figures indicate that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. With many avoidable injuries and deaths each year it is important that everyone involved in the industry from construction workers to the Health and Safety Executive be extra vigilant in matters of health and safety.

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