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Semiotics, Semiology and Safety Sense

Dr Rob Long from www.humandymensions.com talks about the power of symbols in response to this recent article

See also Symbols Have Power

When looking for a metaphor or icon to explain safety what do you think might be a thoughtful and intelligent choice for a safety organisation? The study of semiotics (the study of symbols) and semiology (the study of language) is so important when considering the nature of organizational culture. Research indicates that the average person holds at hundreds of symbols in their heads that can be recalled at any time (eg. chinese characters) yet only remember a a few number sequences. Symbols, colours and words have an identity effect and create comfort or fear and a host of other unconscious psychological effects. For those travelling in a strange country it is amazing the effect of seeing those ‘golden arches’ even though we don’t normally eat such food. Similarly, we see a swastika and this evokes fear and concern. The power of colour psychology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_psychology) can also effect mood, thinking and help make images and symbols more powerful to our unconscious.

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Worlds Largest Collection of Free Safety Stuff

I used to call myself “The Robin Hood of Safety” when I first started this blog. I collected al the safety slogans, safety pictures, risk assessment forms and safety checklists I could find and stuck ‘em all in one place. It was a big hit with all the safety officers and supervisors looking to do some basic things to improve safety. Well, things have changed a bit and things related to the psychology of safety, the people side of safety and integrating safety into the way we do things are now the main focus.

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by Dave Collins Safety Professional
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by Dave Collins Safety Humour
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