Yes, It’s A Checklist
So April 28 is 2021 World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day . What would be a good symbol/semiotic to capture the meaning of this day? What would be a beaut poster that could be offered to link safety to the grief and loss of losing a loved one at work? What is safety all about? When we think of safety what is the symbol/myth that captures our attention and inspires us? Yep, you can download it (HERE): A CHECKLIST!.
I kid you not. When Safety wants to tell the world what safety is about it’s captured in a checklist, placed inside a shield. If there was ever an industry dumb about semiotics its safety.
Of course, one of the greatest risks in the safety industry is ‘tick and flick’ that simple process that gets paperwork out of the way so we ‘get the job done’. Ah yes, this is what we want to reinforce to people in our semiotics, safety is about ‘tick and flick’ and being ‘papersafe’ (https://www.booktopia.com.au/paper-safe-gregory-w-smith/book/9780987630001.html). These two are the most dangerous things to ensuring a safe workplace.
One of the foundational studies in the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) is semiotics, the study of how signs, symbols and myths communicate to the unconscious. Studying semiotics is by far our most popular program (https://cllr.com.au/product/semoiotics-and-the-social-psychology-of-risk-unit-3/) we are running 5 courses in semiotics at the moment with large International companies. You can view a video about semiotics here: https://vimeo.com/221858545. Semiotics is the foundation for any understanding of culture.
How remarkable this industry of dumb that wants to communicate the meaning of loss and harm to persons and the need for safety by symbolising this with a checklist! How fascinating this industry that loves the brand ‘professional’ then represents itself by a number! How strange this industry that defines safety by injury rates and then encourages tick and flick by its symbology!