Workplaces can be full of potential risks, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that these risks are clearly explained to employees. As language specialists working across a plethora of languages, we understand the communication challenges a multilingual workforce can pose. In this blog, we look at how such employers with multilingual workforces can ensure they fulfil their health and safety obligations.

Employer requirements

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, states that employers must identify hazards and assess risks. In order to comply with Section 19 of this act, employers must carry out risk assessments and record these in their safety statement. A fire safety risk assessment should also be conducted as part of the business’ fire prevention framework.

The challenges of a multilingual workforce

While having a multilingual workforce has many benefits, from a communications perspective, employees from different cultures make different interpretations of languages, signs, contracts and other forms of communication. Ineffective or unclear communication in a diverse workplace can lead to confusion and, in the case of health and safety, potential danger.

Human Resource teams will need to fully grasp the importance of cultural adaptation, ensuring that all forms of communication are considered to meet the needs of employees from different cultures. Localisation of documentation ensures that it is appropriate for each of its geographical targets. This means looking at the language and phrasing used, being sensitive to any potentially triggering imagery, colours or terminology, all of which may need to be altered.

How Albion Languages can help

Your business’ health and safety translations should be unambiguous, effective and practical. At Albion Languages, our team of highly skilled language specialists will work with you to achieve this. Our translation and localisation specialists have extensive experience in the health and safety compliance field with satisfied clients including Siemens, Merck, Toyota, IKEA and Renishaw.

Speak to our team today to discover how your health and safety strategy could benefit from consulting with the Albion Languages team.