The Importance of Language Translation in HR & Safety Departments

The Importance of Language Translation in HR & Safety Departments
May 17, 2023

As the world becomes more interconnected and businesses expand across borders, language translation has become a critical tool in the workplace. Your business’s success depends on its ability to communicate effectively with your internal team members (sometimes in multiple languages), especially with Human Resources (HR) and Safety departments. Whether it’s ensuring that your employees understand their job responsibilities, workers’ compensation compliance, company policies, or safety procedures, investing in translation services is essential for businesses to operate safely, honorably, and effectively. 

What is the importance? 

Human resources and safety rely heavily on language translation to ensure clear and effective communication between employees, employers, and other stakeholders. 

Human Resources

In HR, translation is necessary for job descriptions, employee handbooks, policies, and other critical documents that inform employees about their roles, responsibilities, benefits, and other important employment information. Accurate translations ensure that your employees fully understand their employment terms and conditions, which can help avoid misunderstandings, disputes, and potential injuries. Training manuals, onboarding paperwork, and job descriptions are a few common examples of internal resources that may require language translation.


Additionally, language diversity in the workforce is increasing exponentially due to globalization and remote work. Companies now require multilingual talent to interact with global clients and investors, meaning that companies and individuals need translation and interpreting services for both internal and external communications. So, having a reliable, certified translation service in place can make a huge difference when it comes to building strong business relationships and avoiding misunderstandings.

Safety Department

In safety, translation plays a crucial role in preventing accidents and injuries by ensuring that safety procedures, warning signs, and other safety-related communications are clearly understood by all employees, regardless of their language proficiency. It is particularly important in industries where safety hazards are present, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation.


Because of these potential hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its policy to require employee safety training “using both a language and vocabulary that the employees can understand.” This means that if there are limited-English speaking employees, employer documents must be translated into the employee’s preferred language, ensuring employees fully comprehend all safety information and guidelines. This critical step in preventing workers’ compensation accidents and injuries in the workplace is one that employers cannot afford to overlook.

What are some examples?

Employee training content

Keeping employees safe should be a top priority for any organization. One way to achieve this is through effective employee safety training programs. These programs are designed to provide employees with the knowledge and skills they need to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. From personal protective equipment to forklift safety and operation, training should cover all the essential aspects of workplace safety. 


But how can your organization ensure that your employees receive the necessary training? The answer lies in making training easily accessible in any language needed. Training content may come in various formats, such as PowerPoint presentations, classroom training, on-site training, videos, and eLearning – which opens opportunities for subtitling and/or voice-over services. The goal is to provide a range of training options that cater to different learning styles and preferred languages. This ensures that employees receive the training they need to work safely and effectively.

Employee handbooks 

When it comes to establishing clear lines of communication between employers and employees, nothing beats a well-written employee handbook. These handbooks contain vital information about the company, including its policies on discrimination, compensation, and employee benefits. However, if your company operates in a multilingual environment, providing 100% accurate translations of your employee handbooks is a must. 


By ensuring that all employees have access to this critical information in their preferred language, you’re not only promoting a positive and inclusive company culture, but you’re also improving employee retention rates by making all employees feel a sense of belonging. When employees feel their employer values their language and cultural background, they’re more likely to feel loyalty to the company, which displays credibility in your organization’s “DEIB” efforts. 


Also, providing translated employee handbooks can help protect your company from potential legal liability. It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and OSHA regulations. By providing accurate translations of your employee handbooks, you’re taking steps to reduce the risk of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and potential lawsuits.


When employees are able to access important HR-related information in their own language, they’re more likely to comply with company policies, resulting in a more productive and harmonious work environment. So, if you haven’t already done so, invest in professional language translation services for your employee handbooks – your employees and your company will thank you for it!

Safety data sheets (SDS)

Safety data sheets are often filled with complex language and technical jargon, making it difficult even for native English speakers to understand the risks, hazards, and protocols associated with hazardous chemical products and materials. Now, imagine being a non-native English speaker and having to decipher those complicated terms. Scary, right? This is where professional language translation comes in. 


By professionally translating your SDSs into the languages your multilingual employees speak, you can ensure that everyone in your workplace clearly understands the risks, hazards, and protocols associated with those chemicals and/or materials. This not only fosters a safer work environment but also helps comply with regulatory requirements, especially in industries where safety hazards are prevalent. The key here is to use certified translators who are vetted experts in your industry terminology.

Partner with us!

Partnering with INGCO International allows you to confidently bridge linguistic gaps and create a harmonious, inclusive, and safe work environment while ensuring your employees feel supported. Trust us, nothing says “we value you” like taking the time to communicate effectively in someone’s preferred language. Our WordologistsSM specialize in accurate translations in over 200 languages, ensuring that your message reaches all employees clearly, regardless of their language background. With experience translating HR documents, safety guidelines, training materials, and much more, we empower your HR and Safety departments to overcome language barriers, fostering understanding, compliance, and, ultimately, the safety and success of your company. Invest in the reliable, certified language translation services of INGCO International and watch as a strong foundation of employee well-being and organizational growth develop!