DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.

Monday, October 01, 2012

How Safety Signs Are Worded Makes A Difference

Photo by Sergei-Scurfield
I was reading an article in Federal Computer Week yesterday (the September 15, 2012 issue - page 12).  It mentioned an interesting study that appeared in the journal Psychological Science. The study was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School.  This study compared the effectiveness of two health/safety warning messages.

The study was conducted at a hospital and was designed to find ways to better encourage people to wash their hands. This simple practice reduces the spread of disease among health care workers.  Two signs, placed by various sinks used for hand washing, were tested. The only difference between the two signs was one word.

One sign read: "Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases."

The other said said, "Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases.

Which sign was more effective?

The sinks with the sign about preventing "you" from getting a disease saw no significant change in hand washing frequency.  The sinks where the sign focused on patient health were posted saw increases in hand washing ranging from 37% to 54%.

We are much more concerned about others than we are about ourselves.  We are willing to put ourselves at risk to save a little time. But, when we realize we are putting others at risk we tend to be more careful.

Remember, if YOU don't pay attention to safety, someone else may die.

Related Past Posts:
Concrete Manufacturer Cited By OSHA
The Volks Decision - What Does It Mean?
NEMA Announces New Safety Sign Standards

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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Anonymous Jenna said...

Wow, how interesting that the simple change of a word can impact peoples behaviour so much! I current study psychology and research studies like this show how fascinating the human brain is..!

4:10 PM  

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