Industrial Safety Design

Hello again, C77 posters!

I’ve been absent for a while now… Graduated university, and now I’m working in the real world! No longer confined to academia, and this is probably why I haven’t been posting here.

A project I’m currently working on is overhauling procedures and policies in a factory to focus on long term employee health and safety. My part of this will be more focused on signage and ergonomic factors rather than floorplan layouts and specific health issues. It’s a massive project, so we’re doing one part at a time.

A quick Google search and forum search didn’t turn up much useful stuff, and I wanted to see if anyone else had experience in this field, or links to good sources. I think that aeroplane safety sheets are the sort of thing that could be great - all visual, impossible to misunderstand.


Manual handling (safe lifting amounts, etc)
Warning signage (how to indicate that this material should be a 2 person lift, or use the forklift, or don’t pick this up, etc)
Colour (standout colours, standards, etc)

Any help that can be offered is much appreciated.

GREAT TOPIC!!! And a “pet subject” of mine for years; Shop Safety, Hazardous Material Safety and Documentation, Electrical Hazards, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), Confined Space, Safety at Heights, Situational Awareness, etc.

In The States OSHA (the Occupation Safety and Health Administration) is the great beginning source for this information. There is certainly no lack of the information you are looking for it’s just a matter of finding it, and filtering out that which is pertinent to your situation.

I also think this is a great topic… and a little humorous as this blends our profession with the one we’re commonly confused with: Industrial Engineering, or more commonly know as factory design.

I wonder if the folks at Crown Equipment have any material on this… They have a very strong ID dept and have received many accolades for their work in thoughtful ergonomics and user-centered design.


Here’s a start.

… and a second

Google using a specific subject; lifting safety, lifting safety poster, lift limit poster, etc.

I know from personal experience that the nuclear power industry uses a standard codified color sysem for radiation worker safety; the yellow/magenta “tri-foil” being the universally understood symbol for a source radioactivity. The specific source, level, and type of contamination (gamma, beta, surface, airborne, caution, danger, grave danger, etc.), is usually broken out with separate but attached signage providing quantified information (rates of decay, exposure rates, detonations per minute, etc.) . With regard to non-nuclear safety subjects (lifting, mechanical hazard, water safety, etc.) many companies develop their own color safety coding.

Of course none of this is of real value without an associated training program.

I would start by purchasing ‘Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and the Design of the Work’, especially for only $4 used on amazon. It is a great book that every ID’er should own.

Another great resource is the buerau of labor. They have tables of stats related to different industries and you can see the most frequent areas of injury and problematic area. It may take a while to take in/understand all the information (and how it is organized), but once you do it is a valuable resource.

There should be a way to get a PDF report that lays out all the info, but I cant find it since they have redone thier page.

The Henry Dreyfuss Symbol Sourcebook has good information about safety symbols and colors.

The Henry Dreyfuss Symbol Sourcebook

I thought the graphics looked familiar; about the same age as my copy of Deyfuss’s Measure of Man, 1966-72.
But still a great resource to build on.

Googling “Australian Industrial Safety” revealed that there are a series of industial-safety trade events in Australia in the coming months;WA Safety Show & Conference, Perth, Aug. 24-26, and the The Safety Show Sydney, Oct. 26-28.

You may want to book one, or both of these; an opportunity of gorge on first-hand information and talk with some folks.

Just curious, what words are you using in your google searches?

Sorry for the long break between my posts!

Work decided to block C77, so I couldn’t get here when required.

Thanks for all your feedback, and great links! LMO, you’ve been especially helpful. I’ll try to upload a little design project I put together for the factory - a one-off specific use material handling trolley (it’s much less impressive than it sounds).