Denise Chevin’s leader about the economic impact of Eastern European workers on the UK construction industry (25 August, page 3) makes a lot of sense.
However, I would suggest that the biggest risk to the safety of migrant workers does not lie in their lack of command of the English language. After all, the picture for a floor slab opening is always a hole, whatever language the warning is written in.
The main issue is the migrants’ own attitudes towards safety, which is far more difficult to anticipate and change than their linguistic skills, since these develop through a lifetime of individual cultural experiences.
Nationals of countries that have little legislation relating to safety, be it while at work or while driving, do not have the innate sense of safety in the workplace that we perhaps consider to be standard. This is where the real risk lies.
Mark Thompson, Dubai