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Language Translation and Health and Safety – Insurance and Claims

Under English law a person is deemed to have read something if they have signed it. But surely we enter a grey area if the person can obviously not read in the language? Unfortunately not everybody is honest in this world and there are even situations where a person can deny they speak the required language shortly after an incident. This can alter the nature of a claim and we now live in a claims culture.

The only true way to protect your business is to consider translation of documents as part of the initial employment cost of migrant workers and as part of the health and safety audit. It can be considered part of your insurance cost as it is in fact another form of protection.

If you cannot be sure that your employee can read documents related to the health and safety parts of their job you will need to have a translation available in their language. If you would like to protect against their denial of language abilities you still need to translate the documents into their language.

At the very minimum, it is recommended that each migrant employee should be given a covering document to sign ‘before starting work’ that has been translated into their language. This should be presented with all the documents they should understand and include a confirmation that they have received the documents listed and that they can understand them, they can understand all the safety signage in the work place and that they possess the ability to speak the native language of a good level to be able to understand instructions given. This should also include a procedure for situations where they have reached a language barrier.

Insurance companies may not have asked you how you deal with language barriers in the work place or migrant workers, but it is only a matter of time. Remember, a translation service can protect your employees, your assets and keep your insurer happy.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 10:15 am and is filed under Business Translation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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