Safety Gets Dumber

by Dave Collins on March 7, 2014

in Risk Aversion,Safety Photos,Safety Pictures

Safety Gets Dumber


Another one for our HOT TOASTER PAGE.

This sign was photographed by a reader in the room of a major city Hotel. I know that some people are concerned about picking up nasties like tinea and planters warts from public showers. When I was in the Army we showered in thongs (flip flops). I am assuming that there have been slip and fall incidents in this Hotel (probably not many) and this sign is the knee-jerk reaction of an over zealous and non-thinking safety person. Is putting up a sign like this really effective? The people who are so concerned about the risk to their health from disease are going to ignore the risk of slipping and falling (and the sign). This sign is only going to annoy and offend the vast majority of the Hotel’s Guests. If a Hotel shower is cleaned properly on a daily basis then the risk of disease spread is probably zero. Perhaps a better sign would be something like “Our Hotel rooms are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis – have a fun and healthy stay with us”??????

This picture is going straight to our HOT TOASTER PAGE.

Please send us photos of safety getting dumber that you come across on your travels:

This equally condescending sign was posted in a holiday resort – so have their guests never taken a shower?


  • Mark

    It’s all an attempted ass covering…the only fear of risk is the risk of being sued.

  • I find this preoccupation with the least important control of risk fascinating. It simply continues to perpetuate the industry’s preoccupation and identification with pettiness and blindsidedness to the humanization of safety and risk.

  • Rod

    PPE was considered effective 25 years ago so it must be effective now and no need to review.

  • On a more serious note – and in line with contemporary legislation – how do we still explain the proliferation of mandated PPE signs on work sites. Aren’t we ever tempted to say “Steel cap boots; show me your risk assessment where this is an identified control!” “Hearing protection; what else have you done to mitigate the generation of noise?”

    I don’t have an issue with Hi-Viz as a uniform policy, but is it really a risk control?

    I recall a road construction site in Perth a year or so ago. Orange barrier mesh everywhere. The on-site uniform was top to toe Hi-Viz orange. The uniforms camouflage effect against the background was outstanding.

    The toaster signs and hot water signs are obviously the results of over zealous ‘risk’ management. On the contrary. aren’t the PPE signs the result of poor risk management?

    My two bob’s worth.

    • Totally agree mate. Read a few articles recently about how hi viz has now become invisible as we are so well adapted to it – same as if you live near a train track you dont hear the trains? PPE use has just evolved unquestioned. I dont know of any legislation that mandates specific items in general workplaces – the old Mines Act used to mandate steel caps but that was still at the discretion of the Mine Manager from memory. I visited a construction project recently, never went anywhere near the worksite but had to wear all the gear – even gloves!!! I also wonder whether the risks of wearing PPE are ever considered with these blanket policies?

  • Rod

    I would reckon the first sign has probably come from legal advice and not so much an over-zealous safety person. impossible to know for sure but i have seen the legal fraternity in action on these types of issues. The second is cost related as I know when I lived in a house that had these I constantly had to tell the kids to stop runjning the hot water as that was as hot as it was going to get. A mate I had who was in the motel game told me that they needed to put signs like this up as the amount of people that would complain about the water temp after the valves were implemented made it necessary. Most times when it was investigated the cold water tap was turned on also. The safety issue of the sign is refering to the reason why the valves were installed in the first place and to be honest I reckon they should be compulsory anyway.

Previous post:

Next post: