The number of deaths and injuries of migrant workers in the UK’s construction sector could be cut if risk training procedures used pictures, research commissioned by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (Iosh) and conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has revealed.
Foreign employees in building firms are far more likely to suffer a fatal injury than those born in the UK, Health and Safety Executive statistics demonstrate.
While they account for just six per cent of the UK’s construction workforce, they make up 17 per cent of all work-related deaths, the data found.
Falls from height are the biggest cause of fatal accidents for these people, although operating diesel or petrol engines in confined spaces also featured highly.
GCU senior researcher Bill Hare translated safety messages into photos, pictograms and sketch drawings and revealed knowledge levels relating to risk management were always higher when these were used compared to when they were not, with some individuals improving their test scores by 20 per cent.
“These figures show that some construction companies can do more to make sure staff whose first language isn’t English know how to stay safe on-site,” Iosh executive director of policy Dr Luise Vassie stated.