Almost 50 years ago Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Since then several countries have either created their own versions of OSHA or they have adopted similar rules and regulations used in the USA. The rules deal with asbestos, fall protection, cotton dust, trenching, machine guarding, benzene, lead and blood-borne pathogens, among other work related issues.
Some of our earliest work at TSI was translating OSHA documents 25 years ago for American based companies who had employees who were not native English speakers. The first job was Latin American Spanish, then Haitian Creole and French Canadian. Later on the number of languages expanded as companies with affiliates worldwide decided to offer the same information and training to their employees living and working abroad.
Many of the topics needing translation were and continue to be related to Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Agriculture standards that protect workers from a wide range of serious hazards. Examples of OSHA standards include requirements for employers to:
Provide fall protection; prevent trenching cave-ins; prevent exposure to some infectious diseases; ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces; prevent exposure to harmful chemicals; put guards on dangerous machines; provide respirators or other safety equipment; and provide training for certain dangerous jobs in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
A common misconception amongst employers is that if they do not have a warehouse or manual labor workers, OSHA does not apply to them and their business. This is not only false, but also opens up business owners to federal government fines and possible revocation of business licenses. It also puts them at risk because employees can file lawsuits against them for failure to follow OSHA regulations.
The US Department of Labor has a number of posters in various languages for you to hang in your workplace. While these documents are very helpful, there may be others that only exist in english. If you need OSHA documents translated, here at TSI, we have extensive experience working with this documentation and can help make sure your business is in compliance with federal regulations. Our experienced translators’ familiarity with OSHA language ensures that there’s no confusion for your foreign language speaking employers.
Please reach out to us if you’re in need of document translation. Here at TSI, we would love to add you to our robust portfolio of happy clients. Contact us for a consultation or a quote.
Equifax. Anthem Blue Cross. T-Mobile. Every day it seems like there’s a new online privacy breach that leaks our personal data to elusive hackers. Who is protecting your personal information: name, age, social security number, home address, email address, medical information, net worth, etc.? So much of it is in the hands of the companies with whom we, as consumers, use for business.
As we have recently seen with concerns over Facebook’s privacy issues, most major companies that have international offices are dealing with similar problems and are creating or updating privacy policies to protect their employees’ personal data.
In an effort to counter issues arising from the increase of leaked personal information, the European Union recently added new regulations for companies all over the world: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR “aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.” It’s integral for business owners to understand how this relates to their industry. In most of these cases the companies are having these documents translated only into the languages of the countries where they operate.
Why are these privacy policies so important? What could happen if your private information were to be leaked to hackers, or even legally shared with others without your permission? This happens more frequently than you would think.
Here is an article outlining some of the dangers involved.
In order to maintain legal standing with international laws and also ensure trust between you as a business and your clients, properly translating these documents is essential. While our experience at TSI transcends beyond legal documents, this is a particular area in which we have extensive knowledge. We hire only the most skilled native human translators to helm some of these very specific niche topics and ultimately deliver flawless translations to help keep your international business running smoothly.
Do your privacy policies need updating or translations? Contact us for a translation consultation or a quote. We are more than happy to share our expertise in this area to make the process smooth and seamless for you and your business.
Business, like a good movie, inevitably involves some sort of conflict. It could be a disagreement between co-workers, board members and executives not seeing eye to eye, or even with a third party vendor. While conflict makes for excellent entertainment, it’s never fun in the workplace and innevitably leads to headaches for the human resources and legal departments.
In a few words, conflict of interest is a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible.
We translate policies regarding conflict of interest for companies with employees within the USA and abroad. In the USA the translations are generally in Spanish for workers in the restaurant, food and agricultural industries. They might be cooks, dishwashers, servers, hosts, managers, field workers, equipment operators and anyone who might not yet have a good command of English. These workers often come from different Spanish speaking countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Cuba, etc. In fact, there are 20 countries in the world where Spanish is the official language. In order to accommodate this broad range of dialects, we offer a generic Spanish translation that everyone will understand. In most cases it would be financially prohibitive for a company to provide 20 different translations for their employees.
Another language we have translated for USA based employees is Haitian Creole, which is common in Florida and a few of the other southern states.
Conflict of interest becomes much more complicated for companies who have offices and businesses abroad. Behaviors that appear quite normal in foreign countries may conflict with company policy. We recently translated legal documents for an employee who was involved in a conflict of interest in the Asia. This case involved an executive working for an American company who hired a family member as manager of a prominent division. In his country of origin, this was common practice. A worker, who felt that he was next in line for the position, filed a formal complaint with the USA based company, whereby according to their official policy, the hiring was illegal.
Conflicts of interest vary from country to country and companies need to become aware of this when they are drafting their own policies. We offer guidance by giving examples of past situations when companies come to us asking for advice. Translations of these human resources issues helps get all parties on the same playing field in an effort to expedite the resolution process so that all parties can move on and refocus on working. If you are in need of conflict of interest document translation, do not hesitate to reach out for a consultation and a quote.
When you think of document translation, harassment is probably the last thing that comes to mind but in this day and age, it’s a delicate area that needs to be addressed not just for English speaking employees, but everyone. Thinking internationally, it’s also essential to make sure offices beyond the U.S. borders are dealt with properly. It’s rather common for us at TSI to translate anti-harassment human resources documentation for clients across the globe.
As of late the national news has been focusing on the issues of sexual harassment. However in the broad scope of employee relationships, anti-harassment covers a wide range of behaviors including all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive. The task at hand for companies at home in the USA, as well as abroad is to prohibit any actions, words, jokes, or comments based on a person's sex, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any legally protected characteristic. The latter includes gender reassignment, belief, civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity.
Specific examples of harassment include:
The list above accounts for the majority of harassment issues in the USA, however what may be acceptable in this country may well be totally out-of-bounds elsewhere. It’s important for U.S. based companies to check with the proper authorities where they have offices abroad in order to tailor their anti-harassment policies to include behaviors that are not permitted in the host country. When a conflict occurs in this area the response “We didn’t know” is not an acceptable or appropriate answer. Improper handling of sexual harassment accusations can lead to costly legal battles and sometimes public relations nightmares.
We have experience translating manuals and documentation dealing directly with human resources training for employees, and employee manuals relating to anti-harassment guidelines. If your company has non-english speaking employees or international offices, feel free to contact us for a quote. Handling this now can avoid costly mistakes down the road.
Although we’ve been known for over a quarter century as a translation agency that specializes in technology, we also have a substantial amount of clients who require Human Resources translations. When people think of HR, they assume it’s the hiring and firing department, but in reality, human resources goes way beyond that.
One unique area of human resources is anti-corruption in global business, which deals specifically with anti-bribery. Over the years we have translated documents of this nature for a variety of international corporations who are typically companies registered in the United States with employees in offices abroad. In most cases, the documents deal specifically with the anti-bribery laws enacted in the United States, but they also reflect similar issues and concerns of the host country.
As the business world grows internationally and employees find themselves in situations where they interact with a wide range of personnel, it is important for them to be aware of their personal conduct in order to avoid finding themselves in situations that border on corruption. This involves issues as blatant as bribery or even matters as seemingly innocuous as accepting gifts whereby the giver expects something in exchange for the favor.
From a cultural standpoint, there’s many different ways to express gratitude and appreciation to clients, or to give gifts but due to anti-bribery regulations, it’s essential that there’s no confusion amongst all parties as a bribery or corruption charge can land your company in hot water. By ensuring these regulations are properly translated, it helps eliminate any confusion and gets all parties on the same page so that they can focus on the business at hand as opposed to worrying about regulatory snafus.
Having a talented human resources department is a great first step, but making sure their documents are translated properly really puts the icing on the cake. To take a deeper dive into the human resources translation services we offer, visit our human resources page.
Francis Semmens is the founder of TSI and author of all blog posts with a focus on translation for clients and translators alike.