Case Study: Safely delivering engineering work

When NRL Languages’ sister Recruitment business was asked to support a team of Spanish engineers who were heading over to the UK to undertake a project on a power station, they turned to our Languages team to help ensure the work was completed successfully.

Understanding the challenge

Their client wanted to utilise an experienced team based in Spain, where operations were at a quieter time in their busy annual schedule of works, who were therefore available to work on the UK project. It was identified that they could be mobilised to the UK within a quick turnaround to support with planned work on a natural gas power station – which was expected to take 10 days to complete.

The problem? None of the team spoke English – which provided a language barrier and several challenges around how they could complete the work to the requirements needed, whilst ensuring they maintained safety standards.

From daily supervisor meetings with the engineering team, to following the pre-set processes and site safety rules – a solution was needed to ensure the Spanish speaking team were able to communicate with English speaking colleagues. With a very short lead time, this solution also needed to be quickly put into place.

Working with an interpreter

Our Languages team had the solution – engaging a Spanish and English-speaking interpreter who would be based on the site throughout the project to liaise with the team of engineers.

This began at the start of each shift, relaying the Supervisor’s daily safety message, before communicating details of the work to be completed during the day and any messages passed over from the previous night shift.

Once the engineers were ready to commence, the interpreter provided verbal translation of the work order cards – the written processes for how each task needed to be undertaken which ensure they fully understood what was expected of them to operate safely and any specific engineering practices they needed to follow, as well as providing day-to-day support where engineers wanted to ask questions or discuss any issues – liaising between the team of workers and Supervisors where needed.

At the end of every shift, the focus turned to the close up briefing – where the team confirmed the work that had been completed with the Supervisor and any notes that needed to be passed onto the night shift team could be documented. The interpreter remained on hand throughout this discussion to ensure all information was accurately interpreted.

Providing a solution to the language barrier

Using NRL’s interpreting service, the client was able to quickly engage the Spanish team to successfully complete the project on the power station, with a representative in situ and ready to start the following day. Working a total of 14 days due to an extension of the initial 10 day expected lead time, the Spanish-speaking interpreter ensured that communication continued to flow. – with all work completed to the specific requirements requested. Providing a solution that worked for both the Supervisors on site and the Spanish engineering team which brought them together on the project.

Translations Project Manager Veronica Allen reflects on the solution provided to the client;

“When colleagues from our Recruitment business got in touch to ask if a Spanish-speaking interpreter would provide a solution to their client’s language barrier, we immediately said yes. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses to provide face-to-face interpreting to navigate business negotiations, provide language support and, most importantly, ensure that all communication is correctly understood by every stakeholder.

So we knew that by having an interpreter on hand throughout the project, the language barrier would be lifted – and everyone could effectively communicate to get the task in hand completed.

For engineering businesses, precision is of the utmost importance, which is why it was crucial to appoint an experienced and qualified interpreter who understood the role they needed to play to keep the project moving.

It was a pleasure to be able to demonstrate our language solutions expertise to their client, mobilising the interpreter to work on site just a few days after the client requested support, and before they got to work, quickly building a rapport with the teams and supporting conversations throughout the project.

It’s a great example of how interpreting can make such a difference when conversing with different stakeholders – and we’re delighted to be able to have been able to support the client.”

Our engineering language solutions

If you’re an engineering business looking for interpreting or translation support, then our team are always on hand to offer the best solution that will remove any language obstacles and ensure work can be completed as effectively and efficiently as possible.