There are certain environmental health and safety regulations that employers and employees need to follow to guarantee safety at work. Those standards are summarized by the International Finance Corporation and are to be implied by all industries.

As many companies have offices in different countries or employ people abroad, it is their duty to inform all employees about the industry-specific EHS standards that might apply. This is best done in the mother tongue of the employees to guarantee full understanding of all rights and obligations. In such cases, environmental health and safety translations are very useful. As the employer is obliged to inform and regularly update workers on the subject, educational material translation is yet another important service.

For such specific translations, it is necessary to select the best Language Service Provider (LSP) who will be your faithful partner when translating for OSHA requirements or dealing with other types of technical document translation.

What are EHS Guidelines?

The World Bank Group has introduced the Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines (known as the “EHS Guidelines”). They try to compile examples of Good International Industry Practice (GIIP) and set “best practice” rules for the health and safety of workers and the environment. These technical documents are referred to in the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework and in International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards.

IFC introduced those standards back in 1998 for the first time and several organizations took part in their compilation. The guidelines are based on standards and advice provided by:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
  • Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)

They also follow the ISO 14001 for environmental management and ISO 14501 for occupational health and safety management. Other terms that are related to EHS include: Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), Work Health and Safety (WHS), and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE).

What do Environmental Health and Safety translations cover?

While a translation agency can provide a translation of the EHS Guidelines into any language, environmental health and safety translations include much more. There is a variety of services that can be covered under the term of EHS translations. Some of the most common include data sheets or safety plans but also manuals, instructions, or educational materials for the training of employees. A short list of the possible texts that can be referred to as EHS translations includes:

  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Company Safety Policies
  • Plant Safety Instructions
  • Equipment Manuals
  • Equipment Safety Instructions
  • Fire Safety Instructions
  • Safety Regulations, Requirements and/or Laws
  • Accident Prevention Laws
  • Incident Reporting Documentation
  • Chemical Safety Data
  • Labeling of Hazardous Materials
  • Training Documents, including Videos

All EHS translations need industry specific translators and the availability of a Translation Management System (TMS). This will make the process coherent, fast, and affordable. Note that when EHS translations are concerned, we are not talking merely about translation, but also adaptation and localization. Many rules and requirements differ from country to country despite being similar in meaning. In some cases, content may be untranslatable, since it is intrinsic only to the country of origin and does not apply to the target market. In exchange, some new content would be added to the document in order to make it valid abroad.

As a whole, environmental health and safety translations use highly specific jargon and document formats, so a trusted translation partner is needed to support you throughout the process.

Why should a business invest in EHS translations?

If your company employs people from different countries or has offices around the globe, you need to make sure everyone works in a safe environment. There are environmental health and safety standards set in every country that need to be observed by both employers and employees and language should not be a barrier. If employees are unable to read safety instructions for a machine, for example, they may injure themselves or damage the machine. Furthermore, employees may not be aware of their rights, benefits, and safety instructions specific to their job.

Therefore, it is necessary that all environmental and occupational safety instructions are translated into the language/s that your employees speak. Providing initial and continuous training on the issue in the respective language/s is also a great plus for your employees. The overall results will be higher productivity and more motivated employees, who are able to properly execute their work tasks. You can measure the ROI of your EHS translations and see the positive results in a short term.

Here at ICD Translation, we are aware of the significance of Environmental Health and Safety Guidelines and undstand the importance of their proper translation. Therefore, we provide EHS translation services to any language and for any industry. We stand out with our professionalism and experience in the field. We are ready to support you and make sure that you are compliant with the EHS requirements in the country you are targeting.

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