108 Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AS
Tuesday 03 June 2008
I share the concerns highlighted in Michael Howie and Emily Pykett's article on migrant workers in the Scottish agriculture and food processing industries ('The high human cost of this Scottish Fruit' 31 May).
Just this week we, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) started a two-week long inspection blitz of farms and soft fruit growers in North East Scotland targeting Perthshire, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Moray in order to tackle poor safety standards. The safety of migrant workers is one of the main focuses.
The HSE website provides a wealth of information and advice for overseas workers and their employers - it is available in 14 different languages www.hse.gov.uk/migrantworkers. Small pocket sized advice cards are also available in 14 languages with specific advice for those working in agriculture and food processing.
Soft fruit growers and farms where health and safety is taken seriously have nothing to fear, but we are working to root out those that put lives at risk.
Dr Paul Stollard
HSE Director Scotland
The Health and Safety Executive
59 Belford Road