Posters have long been used to communicate safety messages to workers in industry, and to the general population (often in a fairly paternalist manner). The design of some of these posters is very striking; we include a few examples in the gallery below.
Don’t fool with compressed air (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, via Wellcome Library, London)
Long hair is dangerous, for the London College of Printing, by Tom Eckersley, a famous English poster artist.
Handle with care, Missouri Work Projects Administration. The WPA was an agency in the USA
created as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, and provided employment to millions of people during the
De-energize before maintenance work on equipment, a Soviet-era poster. Note the pedagogical
detail with an inset zoom on the pressure gauge.
Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, was a major source of health problems in the USA before the
1950s, when penicillin was widely used as a very effective treatment. It could remove workers
from the workforce, when they were need for the war effort. Poster by the US Work Projects Administration.