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.
Francis Semmens is the founder of TSI and author of all blog posts with a focus on translation for clients and translators alike.