top of page
  • Writer's pictureYelena McCafferty

Case study: why translation matters for farmers

In the run up to the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU one specific business sector that advocated remaining a member was farming. “Where am I going to get my cheap labour from?” – I heard one farmer ask in a TV debate. I have a few friends who are farmers and I know firsthand that some farmers have now successfully invested in technology to reduce their reliance on labour. But of course you will always need workers, the process is not totally robotic.

As it happens, British farmers often hire foreign workers and that’s the reason we at Talk Russian have a number of farmers among our clients. Russian speakers may not understand the technical level of English used in training guidance or health and safety documents. These are crucial for ensuring that work is done property and the safety and wellbeing of all workers on the farm is protected at all times. Translating such documentation for non-English workers is therefore necessary to avoid potential hazards and risks associated with the work undertaken by them. They need to be aware of precautions they have to take to avoid accidents and injuries.

This is particularly important as health and safety regulations and requirements vary from country to country, and when you have workers from Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, they will not be familiar with the specific laws and regulations that apply to the farm they are working on, unless they have completed the relevant induction.

Translating health and safety documents into the workers' native language will help them not just to understand the legal requirements they need to comply with, but also realise their rights and responsibilities as workers.

Accidents do happen, as several court cases show. One company was prosecuted after a Polish worker suffered serious leg injuries when he was hit by a forklift truck, and the court heard it was entirely preventable, had the instructions been translated.

By translating instructions, signs, health and safety and other relevant documents for workers, employers can play their role in preventing these negative outcomes and creating a safer and more productive work environment for everyone.

[Tip: if you are looking for a professional Russian translator for your internal corporate documentation, get in touch with us to discuss on 0207 0436940 or]

Yelena McCafferty interpreting for Russian farmers in Cambridgeshire



bottom of page