Specialist Suppliers Secure Safety

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Today, many chemical companies are multinationals with their products marketed and sold on a global scale and when it comes to language requirements, this industry has exacting and highly specialist needs. RWS has been translating documents for major players in the global chemical industry for over 20 years and is therefore a reliable partner when it comes to providing high quality and accurate translations for this sector.

Companies in all parts of the world that purchase chemical products for use in their own production facilities; companies that form part of the chemicals supply chain and companies involved in their transportation need to have access to accurate safety-related information about the chemical products involved. For all these stakeholders, preventing incidents that affect human health and the environment is paramount and having access to this information in their own language makes a significant contribution to industry safety.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is the main document used to convey all this information. Each time a chemical or chemical product is sold, supplied or used in a given country, an MSDS must be provided in the relevant local language. Not only does this improve industrial safety, but it also improves communication and understanding by ensuring that all personnel are able to access the relevant information. Providing an MSDS in the local language also facilitates employee instruction and training.

Translating Material Safety Data Sheets into other languages requires considerable expertise, as it is crucial that chemical and industrial terminology are translated in the correct way. The Safety and Risk phrases used on MSDSs have also been standardised, so they must never be translated anew. The officially-approved, standard translation of the Safety and Risk phrases in the language concerned must always be used.

In addition, using the correct nomenclature when translating the names of chemical substances into other languages must not be overlooked. Establishing the correct name of organic chemicals in other languages is something that can be difficult in certain cases.

When translating documents of critical importance to the client’s operations, absolute accuracy is essential, so it is vital that the translation is always be checked by a second translator. At RWS, all of our translations are produced by specialist translators who are native-speakers of the target language. They are then subsequently checked by a second technical translator. Any matters requiring clarification during the process are discussed with the client to ensure that translations are accurate and fit for purpose.

Safety Data Sheets Translations

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We have great experience in providing highly technical translations for hazardous chemicals producers. A specialist team with a very strong engineering focus translates, amongst a range of other work, complex chemical safety information and chemical products labelling.

By way of example, hazardous chemical producers are required to provide a Safety Data Sheet in the official language(s) of each country/market where its products are sold or produced.

Safety Data Sheets include information about the properties of the substance (or mixture), its hazards and instructions for handling, disposal and transport and also first-aid, fire-fighting and exposure control measures.

One example of our work in this area was a major exercise to translate large volumes of technical data into six languages including Vietnamese and Korean for marine, protective and offshore coatings specialists Safinah.

Our task was to complete 300,000 word translations of Material Safety Data Sheets and product information relating to marine coatings and protection, including product descriptions, characteristics, recommended uses and performance characteristics.

The project, which took just eight weeks to complete, included translation, editing and typesetting of the data sheets into Norwegian, Korean, Vietnamese, French, German and Dutch.

A small team of translators with high quality technical and engineering experience performed the tasks of translating the Safinah documentation from English.

To assist in such projects, we are able to leverage translation memory tools to maintain consistency throughout and to reduce time and costs.

All our translators’ work is further edited and proofread before being handed to clients who check it with their own in-country contacts as an additional safeguard on accuracy. We received excellent feedback from Safinah after this process, which, as translators, we are always very happy to receive.

RWS has translated thousands of Safety Data Sheets for clients in recent years, covering more than 25 languages on a regular basis including English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Russian, Slovak, Slovene, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Greek, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai.