Are the Safety Policies Multilingual on Your Website?

If they aren’t then they should be. The obligation to provide safety training in a worker’s native language is implied rather than expressly stated, at least in most jurisdictions.

There shouldn’t even be the slightest doubt that employers do have an obligation to provide safety training in the language their workers speak and understand.

There are a few steps that should be taken to ensure that your safety policies are understandable and absorbed by all employees.

Step #1: Determine The Languages Used In The Workplace:

You must determine the languages your workers understand. You must be diplomatic and address all of the languages, not just the dominant ones spoken by the majority of employees. Even if only one worker speaks a rare language, you must ensure that the worker gets specific safety training and materials in that language or else they likely won’t properly absorb the instructions and material.

Step #2: Use Pictograms When Possible:

Language barriers may be broken down with the utilization of pictures. For example, by using hazard symbols or pictures of hard hats in areas where they’re required you can instill in the employees what to do and what not to do in specific areas of the work place. Pictures with lines through them can also indicate things that are not allowed or should not be done (i.e. cross through a cigarette used as a signal for no-smoking).

Step #3: Have Translators Provide Information:

For information that can’t be provided with normal means like signs and symbols, such as the workers’ right to refuse dangerous work, you will need to hire translators to deliver the information. This can be done verbally or non-verbally (with the use of translated documents).

Here at LingoStar, we have specialized interpreters from all over the world able to visit your job site and provide in person translation services, as well as document translators who can translate your safety manuals and policies. We can provide language services in over 100 languages as well as English. Call us today or send us an email for a free quote!