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An investigation into the health, safety and environmental management of migrant workers engaged in the construction industry in the United Kingdon (UK)

Greef, Nicholas John


Nicholas John Greef


Stephen Pace

Peter, Prof. Waterhouse


The overall purpose of this research project was to investigate the Health, Safety and Environmental Management of migrant workers engaged in the Construction Industry in the United Kingdom (UK).

With the expansion of the European Union in 2004 and 2008, which allowed free movement of migrant workers from the Ascension States of Central and Eastern Europe, the construction industry of the UK saw a sudden surge in available, employable, and an affordable workforce.

This paper discovered that there was a diversity of the migrant workers in their job expectation before entering the UK and most thought that they would match the qualification gained in their own country e.g. accountancy, logistics etc. A significant number of migrants ended up in construction work having had no previous experience or training, for no other reason than these were the only jobs available to them. The issues highlighted by the migrant workers, within this paper, include no information or guidance given in their own language so that they are able to understand and comply with the health, safety and environmental standards of the UK. They also had grievances with employment agencies regarding their terms and conditions.

This paper also explored the attitudes and opinions of the Principal Contractors towards the migrant workforce and in the main found that they considered them hard working, reliable and flexible. The negative aspects that were highlighted by the Principal Contractors were the language barrier and their lack of health, safety and environmental awareness.

Construction sites are high risk working environments and Principal Contractors have a duty of care to ensure that workers engaged on their sites are competent and safe from harm. This paper has highlighted that not only is there an awareness that migrant workers are at increased risk through the language barriers and lack of training, but this in turn also increases hazards and risks to their fellow workers on sites.

This paper concludes with the recommendation that there should be a provision for clear and concise information available to the migrant workers in their own language and that training should be available in health, safety and environmental standards to increase their awareness.


Greef, N. J. (2019). An investigation into the health, safety and environmental management of migrant workers engaged in the construction industry in the United Kingdon (UK). (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 28, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Chemistry
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Chemistry, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2019


Thesis (1.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2019 Greef, Nicholas John. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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