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Norwich Union looks to lower risk with migrant workers

12 September 2006
Migrant workers are vital for many UK industries, but when it comes to the risk involved, many employers are unaware of what is at stake.

Migrant workers are those who have come to the UK for a specific purpose of work and because of language and cultural barriers can often be put in hazardous working situations and not receive the right amount of information.

Phil Grace, a casualty risk manager at Norwich Union, says that hiring migrant workers without assessing the risks is not something to be taken lightly.

"Foreign workers employed in the UK enjoy the same protection as UK workers and have the same rights and responsibilities," he explained.

"Risk assessments and the resulting actions must take the different languages and cultures of these new workers into account."

The main risks in employing foreign staff is language, therefore not being able to fully understand training videos and documents and warning signs, which can result in dangerous situations if the worker is not adequately educated.

Norwich Union recommends the use of universal signage and having all important documents translated into the appropriate languages so that the risk involved is lowered.

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