Strict regulations and requirements guide the manufacturing industry to keep employees safe at work. Specifically, the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) protects workers and their rights to a safe workplace.
Nevertheless, accidents and injuries on the job (known as lost time accidents in this industry) still happen at the workplace even with regulations and requirements. Effective training and instruction can prevent lost time accidents, especially when they are presented in the employee’s primary spoken language. Here we will discuss how manufacturers can use translation to avoid lost time accidents.
What are lost time accidents?
Safeopedia defines a lost time accident as “an on-the-job accident that results in an employee being absent from the workplace for a minimum of one full day workday. The absent day does not include the day during which the accident occurred”. Thus, the days counted as lost time accident days may include weekends, holidays, and vacation days.
The negative impact of lost time accidents is not limited only to absence from work or low productivity, but affects the overall morale at the workplace and can demotivate other employees. In addition, a high lost time injury frequency rate can impact the company's overall image and incur subsequent costs.
How can a manufacturer prevent lost time accidents?
Ensuring employees understand safety training is one of the best ways to reduce lost time accidents. There are several steps that a manufacturer can take to make sure that all floor workers and operators are working in compliance with safety requirements, regardless of what language they speak. Some examples include:
- Implement an injury management and prevention program and have it translated into all of the languages your employees use
- Offer an interpreter during safety training
- Store safety protocols in a multi-lingual employee portal with 24/7 access
- Cultivate a company culture that values inclusivity
- Require that all machine operational instructions are translated into the primary language of the employees who operate them
- Offer a go-to supervisor for non-English speaking employees to ask questions
Make lost time accidents a thing of the past through translation
Accurately translating your safety information into your employees’ native language will increase their understanding of this essential material. When beginning to translate your safety-related content, keep in mind that you may run into many problems, so always assess the capabilities of the language service provider before hiring them.
Quality translation can significantly reduce lost time accidents in your manufacturing business because training is more efficient when carried out in the primary spoken language of the trainee. Also, the highly technical language in the manufacturing industry might be difficult for some non-native English speakers to understand in English, so offering a translation in their native language can significantly increase their comprehension.
When manufacturers offer translated services, the risk of personal injuries and work stoppage is minimized, reducing lost time accidents in the manufacturing industry. Therefore, translation is an efficient tool in preventing work accidents as it helps explain rules and requirements in a language/s that every employee understands.