Vintage safety posters provide a glimpse into a working world that we may not have experienced first hand. They paint a picture of not only how far we’ve come in terms of our safety standards to prevent work injuries, but also in our progress with political correctness.
Gone are the days when downright sexist posters are pinned up in the name of safety and nobody blinks an eye. And the popular use of horrifying scare tactics of death and dismemberment are no longer the norm to keep workers out of harm's way.
Here are 12 comical, alarming, and downright offensive work safety posters from bygone eras that just wouldn’t fly today.
1. Pretty sure a woman in a bikini has nothing to do with a safety
2. Well, that escalated quickly
3. All these references to coffins are a bit much
4. That’s not punny
5. We hope that’s not a new shirt
6. Someone’s a party pooper
7. Can’t unsee
8. Just a bump on the noggin’
9. Looks like a recipe for disaster
10. Up in smoke
11. Insurance doesn’t cover idiocy
12. Now that’s what you call a guilt trip
Freelance writer based in Sydney and contributor to the Smith's Lawyers blog