A risk management company has warned that “little or nothing” is being done to protect the employees of haulage firms in Calais – and the warning signs are there that violence in the area could escalate.

Nathan Monshin, director of international risk at risk management specialist Spherical International, told Motortransport.co.uk, after conducting a risk assessment in the area, that the “sheer volume” of illegal migrants “trying every HGV is utterly unbelievable”.

“Having had the opportunity to see [illegal migrant activity in Calais] first hand, to conduct an assessment of the situation as it is and understand how future measures will affect the haulier’s vulnerability, it is clear that they are left exposed with little or nothing being done for them directly,” he added.

“Even though [drivers] are in France their employer’s duty obligation should continue, not only from a moralistic point of view but for those UK based companies from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, failure to act and do all that is reasonably practicable is arguably a neglect on the employer’s behalf.

“At what point do they stop working and refuse to transit the high risk area of Calais? If they do then what?” he asked.

Monshin’s warning came as the FTA said that the combination of illegal migrants trying to get to Britain; striking French ferry workers; protesting French farmers and Operation Stack in Kent is costing the UK logistics industry some £750,000 a day.

Port of Dover RHA

FTA deputy chief executive James Hookham said: “Given the value of goods lost and the subsequent cost to business, these figures show that Operation Stack is not just an issue for Kent and the south east of England but a serious national strategic problem. This is the country’s GDP and export standing still in these horrendous queues caused by the situation in Calais.”

He said that it was simply not acceptable that industrial action in France could have such an impact on the British economy.

“Calais has to be made a strike free-zone so that cross-Channel traffic can start moving again and Operation Stack can be lifted as soon as possible.”

Talks are being held today (24 July) between the FTA, Eurotunnel, Kent Police and other organisations on how to deal with the disruption.