I recently overheard someone from a large corporation say, “Next month will be a ‘red’ month.” The speaker went on to explain that meant a spending freeze was coming up and any unnecessary spending would be curtailed.
The answer to that question depends upon your risk tolerance. If you are able to afford all the consequences of having a non-compliant SDS going out with your shipments, then by all means, use a free online machine translation for your health and safety guidance. Would you also put your Last Will and Testament through it? If so, you have a higher risk tolerance than 99.9999% of the rest of us.
In 2009, the well-known HSBC Bank had to invest $10 million in damage control after its "assume nothing" slogan was poorly translated as "do nothing" in several other countries. This example is all too common about the major financial effects of a wrong translation in business. Translation is an important concern when mergers or acquisitions take place.
When I speak with prospective clients I quite often hear the statement, “We have employees all over the world and they do the translations for us.”