Making the workplace safety posters important again
Does your job site have workplace safety poster? You already know what I mean?
The workplace safety posters are messages we share to our employees. People see them when they move around the place of work. These workplace safety posters mostly have an image supported by a catchy phrase.
The company will often cover the workplace wall with many mixed safety message slogans and posters. These messages become blur in the background and often lose their significance. The messages are often generic posters which the Safety professional downloads from internet and later nobody cares about. You need to know the reason why people would look at your safety poster. Also understand what would make them look and remember the safety poster.
Whenever you display a safety poster at workplace make sure you consider the following :
- The safety poster should be placed at a conspicuous locations: Places where the is more movement of employees will make it get more noticed. Identify these places by taking a round at your workplace and then target these places for placement of the posters. The place that you select for locating your safety poster should never be blocked. People often place equipment, material, machinery etc. in front of the poster. This can often cause the poster to lose its importance and fail to deliver the message.
- The safety poster should be preferable placed at eye level: Having a workplace safety poster at the eye level increases the possibility of seeing the message multiple times as it will be placed in normal field of vision. Imagine you place a safety poster on a hoarding hung up from the ceiling. Yes, it might look big and impactful but that will only look good to the plant visitors. For plant employees and to see the workplace safety poster make sure that it is placed at a convenient height at eye level of most of the employees so that they do have to put too much of effort to see the safety message.
- Try to impact their mind with the safety message: A safety poster is not something which you put on the wall to make it look good, though it should look good enough for being acceptable. The workplace safety poster has to make an impact on the mind of a person. It has to be such that the message stays in their mind for longer period of time. To achieve this you can use emotions related to being happy with family or being healthy etc.
- Make people connect or relate with the safety message: This can be achieved by making posters of Safety Slogans with their name printed on it, which are submitted by the employees themselves. This will remind them of their safety message and they would definitely want to follow it. Also making the safety poster in the local language makes it more acceptable. One more thing is use the pictures of the employees in these posters. Employees see it as something related to the themselves and the people they are working with.
- Make sure that the message does not become monotonous: Over a period of time people will become so used to seeing the same safety message in front of them that it loses its significance. To prevent this from happening try to make the safety poster portable. Shuffle or replace it with other safety posters over a defined frequency of time like every month or biweekly. This way people always have a variety and their brain sees something new which they can now absorb.
- The message has to gel in with the area of work: You cant place a lab safety poster on the shop floor or a food hygiene poster in the lab. Always make sure the right poster has the right place.
- Check the poster often: You don’t want your employees to see a damaged poster or a torn safety poster. Neither do you want then to see a faded safety poster. Having a degraded safety poster will reduce its significance. This will also make the employee relate the condition of the safety poster with the safety standards of the organisation. That is definitely something you do not want.
- The safety message should always be an action: For example, you should never have a safety message which says “Protect yourself” or “Be Safe”. These kind of messages on the safety poster will not signify anything unless they are relate with an image. The image which shows exactly what actions employee needs to be take to fulfill the message. So remember the message that you share in the workplace safety poster, has to be an action that you expect from your employees.
If you make your safety posters considering the above points then the posters will impact the targeted audience i.e. the employee at a subconscious level such that they do not need to remember it and it becomes a way of their working.
Also note that displaying safety posters can never replace the need of safety training. There are other safety promotional activities which make employees involve themselves at much greater level.
So to conclude this, “You need safety posters at workplace to remind people to follow safety at all times, but do not depend on the safety poster entirely, use them only as a media to promote safety awareness among your employees”