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When Flares Kill

This week I've learned the importance of good signage in the workplace to warn employees of potential hazards. I've also learned the importance of ensuring none of these posters are designed any later than 1985. There are hundreds of signs available from the National Safety Council of Australia and fall into four different categories:

1. Posters designed to shock employees into awareness by using good old-fasioned shock value.

2. Posters designed to shock employees into awareness by using terrifying fashions from the 1970s.

3. Posters designed to shock employees into awareness by using patronising phrases stolen from your mother.

4. Posters designed to shock employees into awareness by celebrity cameos from the likes of Olivia Newton-John and one of the guys from The Village People.

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


21 thoughts on “When Flares Kill

  1. that is scaryyyyy…

    I’m sure you’ll look beautiful at the wedding, as long as you don’t wear purple shiny pants and a boob-deforming top- I looked like a very unfortunate Britney impersonator at my aunt’s wedding. Not pretty!

  2. My guess is that the poster division was axed in late-1980s cutbacks and all its designers went to work for Dino Records.

    Great stuff, Shauny!

  3. maybe they should do a poster about computer rage? the dangers of throttling your co-workers with mouse cables and such-like.

    sometimes computers make me cry.

  4. Doesn’t everyone have family pictures of their dad’s looking as stylish as the 70’s guy?

    I had a great pair of red white and blue stripy pants. Very hip, very now…

    and all that hair…

  5. Shauny Does It Again! Read all about it. Canberra Celebrity Blogger Strikes Masses Agog at her Superb Ability to Turn Worksite Warning Posters into Wild Rabid Entertainment!

  6. I’ve seen some great posters too – usually involving cartoon fingers laying about the floor*.

    *may be exaggerating

  7. Yeah, fashion criticisms aside, ‘Hook that sling’ sounds a natty new catchphrase, meldable for any workplace situation. Missed deadline? Hook that sling. Meeting in five minutes? Hook that sling. Dear Lord, I think I’m gonna gnaw my way thru this office wall to outta sight unemployment freedom? Hook that sling. Use it with gusto…

  8. There is something frightningly Soviet/Commie propaganda about these…maybe it’s the simplicity of design and freakness of the message.

  9. Comrades, I fear that SJ may be straying from the Party line. (What’s the emoticon for a clenched fist salute? Thumbs up can be done as ‘==b’, so could it be ‘==Q’ or ‘==G’?)

  10. You do realise it’s your solemn responsibility as ACT Health and Safety Representative to order EVERY one of those posters and post them in prominent locations in each breakroom, don’t you?

  11. These posters bring back fond memories of Woodwork at school back in the seventies. I think they have significant heritage value and should be preserved.

    It’s also a shame that people just make fun of them instead of following their advice and avoiding accidents.

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