In all environments safety is the number one source of prevention for accidents and injury. Avoiding a situation that could result in bodily harm or even death requires education, information and even some common sense. One way for communities to inform people of hazards and methods of prevention are through posters. The best safety posters inform, educate and influence people in order to allow them to make better overall life decisions on a daily basis.
On a safety poster, one element of information is the knowledge that helps people to make better decisions in any given situation. This can consist of phone numbers, agency names or procedures. Specific examples of these are numbers of who to call when there is a fire or what to do when someone gets battery acid in his eyes. The best information safety posters are those that draw a viewer's attention to the knowledge he needs to remember in order to react appropriately and efficiently.
Sentimental safety posters are those that inform viewers of damage caused to others by their poor decisions. A safety poster on driving under the influence of alcohol provides a grim reminder of a family killed by making the decision to drive after imbibing in an excessive amount of alcohol. A sentimental safety poster is designed to prevent an audience from making bad decisions by reminding them of outcomes associated with their actions.
A safety poster designed to influence is similar to that of one that is sentimental. Combining the elements of sentimental and information, an influential poster encourages the audience to react or change behavior prior to making a bad decision. An influence safety poster on equipment operating may encourage a prospective operator to think and get training on a piece of equipment prior to operating and hurting someone.
The best overall safety posters demonstrate the consequences of poor decision making and combine the other three elements of inform, influence and sentiment. These posters not only show a person the damage caused by her poor decisions or failure to follow procedures but where to get assistance and what to do in the case of a safety mishap.