A Little Challenge For Experienced Safety Professionals Only

A Little Challenge For Experienced Safety Professionals Only

Calling on all experienced Safety Professionals with a sharp mind and a discerning eye…..We all know how important it is to wear as much PPE as possible when working on a construction site – it wont really stop many serious injuries but it does allow the maintenance of control, mean we can pad out inductions, gives a reason to yell at people and creates the illusion of a safe workplace.

Could you please tell me one critical thing that is missing from this sign spotted recently at the entrance to a construction site and what is that telling you about the culture and the approach to safety on this site?:

“Wear 4” – sounds like the beginning of a line from a Shakespeare play……. that line is a clue to the answer to the question above and no it isn’t gloves, hearing protection or a dagger!!!


UPDATE: Well, after a few thousand views nobody has yet solved the puzzle – sometimes the answers can be lost in all the noise, distraction, priming and framing.

In 1999, Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris conducted a study on the phenomenon of ‘inattentional blindness,’ then publishing their “invisible Gorilla” video, a video which supports their finding that it is incredibly easy for people to miss details in visual information simply because they are not looking for them and are so focussed on the obvious. Their research was presented as a test for the public in a video released in 2010. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/vJG698U2Mvo

The critical point they made is that the mind is naturally drawn to whatever it is that our attention is directed towards. We are often easily fooled in this way and Safety is a master of illusion. When the noise is loud enough we inherently ignore important details, when we are prompted to take something simply at face value. The good thing is that our unconscious is probably very aware of what the semiotics are doing to us and I have no doubt that this sign would cause those glancing at it to have some uneasy feelings, even if they cant rationally explain them.

Some more clues:

notice_thumb.jpgSensemaking and Signs

A while ago I wrote an article titled “It’s All in the Sign”. On reflection it is interesting that it generated two different lines of thought. The one line was about non-conscious communication and not overloading our minds and how that is helpful in us managing our everyday lives. The other related to ……Enjoy the rest of the article >>>>>

Depositphotos_11858840_xs_thumb.jpgYou Spell the Devil L-T-I and God P-P-E

This story by Dr Long would seem totally ludicrous if it weren’t true! We hear these stories every day yet those with the most to gain and the ability to change it are the only ones in fear and denial. I wrote previously about The Safety Revolution or the “Tipping Point” coming but in the …… Enjoy the rest of the article >>>>>


Making Objects Safe or People Safe

I often ask people in risk and safety training as my first question, ‘When you walk on site, what are you looking for?’ It was no different this week and I got the usual answer ‘hazards!’ A number of people in the group had many years as inspectors, auditors and ……Enjoy the rest of the article >>>>>


Depositphotos_5551874_xs_thumb.jpgRisk is About People, not just Objects

The focus of so much of our attention today in health and safety is on ‘risk assessment’. Walk into any workplace and talk about health and safety and it is likely …… Enjoy the rest of the article >>>>>

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