In 2010 an astonishing 3,506 laws were introduced in the UK, which shows an increase of 41% on the previous year. No matter whether you’re a business owner or you work for a governmental body, sooner or later, every new law has to be implemented. This article looks into the importance of legislative compliance and why translations are such an important part for different departments:
- Health and Safety
- Public Sector
- Export Managers
1) Health and Safety Departments
An interesting field for legislative compliance is health and safety procedures. The Business Dictionary defines “Compliance” as “certification or confirmation that the doer of an action or the manufacturer or supplier of a product, meets the requirements of accepted practices, legislation, prescribed rules and regulations, specified standards, or the terms of a contract.” For example, the health and safety manager of a company is required by law to implement new health and safety regulations. Last year, the Health and Safety Executive published some interesting figures about health and safety prosecutions. For example, the Environment Agency was given a £220k fine after one of its employees drowned while dredging an icy watercourse in Cambridgeshire. A Swansea construction company was ordered to pay £182, 500 after a worker died from a fall of a building site. Incidents, which most likely could have been avoided with the proper health and safety procedures and documents in place.
We as a language service provider know how important it is that you make sure that all your workers understand the meaning of the documents. With the growing number of migrant workers from Eastern and Southern European countries a health and safety manager has to ensure that his foreign workers understand the safety procedures. Have you got all your documents translated in the right language?
2) Public Sector
A good example for legislative compliance in the public sector is the Welsh Language Measure 2011. Welsh is one of Europe’s oldest languages and currently spoken by 21% of the population. In 2010 the National Assembly of Wales passed the Measure which was approved two month later by Her Majesty. The Measure requires the public sector across Wales to offer communication in English and Welsh. A Welsh Language Commissioner, Meirion Pryz Jones, has already started work and she holds the authority to fine bodies that do not comply with standards up to £5,000. If you want to avoid huge fines make sure that your documents are bilingual. In most cases translation costs are significantly lower than any penalties you might have to face because you’ve not ensured legislative compliance. Not to mention that translating will help your message be understood by a wider audience.
3) Export Managers
And finally, don’t forget that if you’re exporting, you’ll need your documentation translated by law for certain markets. Language isn’t enough on its own, but it is a good start. We’d recommend in-depth research and support when going into any new country, to avoid any faux pas – even English speaking ones.
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