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9 months ago

Research Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of Caution Signs and Cones

  • Text
  • Fall
  • Products
  • Sign
  • Cone
  • Effectiveness
  • Cone
  • Warnings
  • Caution
  • Banana
In this study, researchers tested the most common warnings used to prevent slips, trips and falls.

Research Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of Caution Signs and

Research Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of Caution Signs and Cones Patricia G. Jortberg, Ph.D Abstract: The most common caution signs and cones were evaluated in a perception study with 246 participants to determine the effectiveness of the delivery of the warning message. Four products were tested (2 signs, 2 cones). Results show that “Banana Cone” significantly outperformed all of the products examined. Prior research shows that novelty (including shape and color) gains more attention and pre-existing knowledge aids in the delivery of the message. This study concludes that pre-existing knowledge of the banana peel slip is the root cause for “Banana Cone” to significantly outperform all other products in tests for safety perception. Introduction: Society is exposed to signs so frequently that most go unnoticed, but others do tend to catch your attention. Safety experts cite breaking through that “noise” is the biggest challenge to minimize slip and fall liabilities. Safety signs come in all shapes and sizes—from cones to collapsible A-Frames to wall-mounted one dimensional signs. Shapes, lettering, language, color and placement play a critical role in the strength of a warning message. An example of an efficient shape is an octagon, used as STOP sign; an effective use of lettering is an exclamation point portraying DANGER! Getting noticed is the first requirement of an effective warning. Dr. Wogalter reports that once noticed, the warning message will tend to reinforce what the receiver already knows (and in the process make those beliefs and attitudes stronger and more resistant to change) 1 . The most effective way for a brain to remember something is if there is pre-existing knowledge aiding in the message delivery. 2 In regards to preexisting knowledge of the products in this study, one could have previously experienced an injury or lawsuit, or in the case for one product, have a faint recollection of their favorite cartoon character slipping on a banana peel. Different shapes are often used that aid in attracting attention, but this does not correlate with the message being delivered and comprehended. Recently a new design was created that not only draws more attention, but delivers a clear message in the shape of the warning. Background: In this study, researchers tested the most common warnings used to prevent slips, trips and falls. Slip and falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in the United States; accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the ER every year 3 . In the United States the annual direct cost of disabling injuries on the job due to slip-and-fall related accidents is over billion, according to OSHA. The experiment design was selected to include a cross-section of people, with ages, ethnographic demographics and gender being representative of the typical environment where safety signs are used. Subjects were randomly self-selected into the experiment. In this experiment, all people who walked through a hallway where a safety cone/sign had been placed on the ground were interviewed once they left the facility. They were not able to look back into the hallway to answer questions. The building population consisted of 33% residential occupants, 33% commercial office workers, and 33% hotel guest. The experiment included changing the variable (type of cone or sign) after the desired sample size was interviewed. The variable was placed 1/3 of the way across the hallway, which was approximately 2 meters in diameter. Three questions were formulated to measure attention, safety, and noticeability of the product. Taking prior research analysis into consideration, the following were asked to all 246 participants after walking past the sign. 1. Did anything catch your attention when walking through the hallway? 2. Did anything remind you of safety or draw attention to a hazard? 3. Did you notice a safety sign (or cone) on the ground? US Patent: 4253260-A Titled “Self “Standing Floor Sign”, 1981 US Patent: D462286-S1 Titled “Safety Cone”, 2002 US Patent: 7047681-B2 Titled “Folding Sign”, 2006 *The products involved in this study are currently being produced by Rubbermaid US Patent: D737164 Titled Commercial Products, Impact Commercial Products, Continental Products, Scott “Banana Cone”, 2015 Young & Research and Banana Products. It is estimated by industry experts that these five manufacturers combined produce 3M+ units every year capturing over M in annual sales from these products alone. 4 Patricia G. Jortberg, Ph.D | 2015 Research Study Evaluating the Effectiveness of Caution Signs and Cones

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