Report says migrant workers suffer a disproportionate number of accidents and are afraid to report incidents to employers

Migrant workers are suffering more work-related accidents than UK counterparts and are afraid to report safety issues to employers, a report published by the Health and Safety Executive today suggests.

The research, gathered from extensive interviews with migrant workers and their employers, found that migrant workers in industries including construction often suffer from poor working conditions and a limited understanding of health and safety.

According to the HSE, many migrant workers are employed in areas in which they have little prior experience, including in sectors such as scaffolding that are potentially dangerous to those without proper training.

Across all industries, one in four migrant workers had either experienced an accident at work or witnessed an accident involving migrant co-workers.

However, many workers were deterred from reporting the incidents for fear of dismissal, or deportation if they were working without documents.

In addition, the report claimed that the majority of migrant workers who worked through employment agencies suffered as a result. Workers reported being paid less, having unexplained deductions from wages, having irregular work and not understanding who had responsibility for their health and safety.