Safety Signs

How many of the places we work in have those “Work Safely” type posters? The one’s that say things like “Come home safely to your family”, etc. Ever wondered how effective they are?

I’m not sure either but a few days ago, driving from Newcastle to the office in Billingham, the traffic began to slow and I though I was in for a jam and perhaps a long wait. Then all of a sudden the traffic began to flow and everything was fine again. Why? Because there was a temporary sign saying “SLOW DOWN” and everybody did! Was it because it was unusual or was it because it was effective to have a sign or both?

It reminded me of a (very low population) straw poll I conducted. Taking two people into a plant, we passed a whole range of permanent signs and one electronic display that, every day, had a new slogan. I asked my pollsters “what do you think of these?”. 50% of the respondents thought they were fantastic and made him think about safety every day, the other 50% didn’t even notice them.

We talk of safety needing to “be in your face” at all times, and it is important to raise the matter regularly. Perhaps we just need to think about the shelf life of some of our initiatives and consider varying the medium we use to get our message across.

Image credit: Pixabay

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About the author

Dave Dyer

Dave Dyer is a principal consultant within the Operations Improvement team in ABB Consulting. His speciality is in bringing sustainable change and operational benefits to an organisation through the engagement of its people. He hopes to share good ideas and good practice, to inform and to learn.
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