Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Do Not Check Voltage Using Fingers
January 17, 2011 1:45 PM   Subscribe

A nice collection of Soviet workplace safety posters.
posted by nasreddin (61 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, a lovely complement to this work safety video post.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:50 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the greatest thing ever.
I wonder how the Soviet version of Shake Hands With Danger go?
posted by NoMich at 1:50 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are pretty straightforward. Hammer hits you're head, blood comes out. Pitchfork goes in your leg, blood comes out.
posted by Hoenikker at 1:50 PM on January 17, 2011


I was drunk on the production line!

Do not walk on the fish.


Do not carry bottles without corks. [bottle says "Acid"]
posted by nasreddin at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Workers' paradise, my ass.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:52 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


> These are pretty straightforward. Hammer hits you're head, blood comes out. Pitchfork goes in your leg, blood comes out.

In Soviet Russia.....um, the state will pay for your medical bills so there's no confounding safety propaganda.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:53 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, these are beautiful!

I can't read Russian script (rather, I can make out "do not carry [???] without a stopper") but I can tell you that this man is carrying a whole lot of acid.
posted by griphus at 1:53 PM on January 17, 2011


Do not walk on the fish.

Words to live by.
posted by jedicus at 1:53 PM on January 17, 2011


Ah, shit, nasreddin beat me to it. What's the word for "bottle" they're using in that one?
posted by griphus at 1:54 PM on January 17, 2011


Workers' paradise, my ass.

The niftyness of the posters is dampened by the knowledge that, in addition to their physical injuries, workplace accident victims might well get sentenced to 10 years in the gulag for "undermining Soviet productivity".
posted by Joe Beese at 1:55 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


nasreddin, help me out with "Do not roll a joint with tweezers if you are a bear."
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:55 PM on January 17, 2011 [30 favorites]


Sovtastic! This combines so many of my interests - the Soviet Union, graphic design, horrible injuries...
posted by Artw at 1:55 PM on January 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


These are awesome! I too wish I could read them.
posted by nonmerci at 1:59 PM on January 17, 2011


Man, the Soviets had wolfmen?
posted by brandman at 2:00 PM on January 17, 2011


That's not Wolfman! That's The Blob!
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on January 17, 2011


I'm trying to envision the purposes some of these giant machines would serve. Like the Giant Geared Roller Machine. And these mud farmers are only fertilizing the soil. Toes make a perfect fertilizer.
posted by msbutah at 2:03 PM on January 17, 2011


Do not walk on the fish.

Um... How about "Don't make people push a wheelbarrow along a narrow, fish-covered plank suspended in the air"?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:05 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do not get your head stuck between 2 train cars. Seems sensible enough.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:07 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


So when I clicked this link, Chrome asked if I wanted to have the page translated for me. One of the posters appears to have written a poem in one of his reponses, and while I'm sure google translate screwed this up big time, it is pretty much amazing. Best read in a thick Russian accent:

I knew a kanadok
Good and different.
I used to know and Swedish women
Variety.
I knew a turkey,
Koreek and Taek,
But no in the world
Bolgarok better!

Bulgarian acute
Ruthless, and fast!
Her overweening
And brick and concrete!
It's like
What is Kevlar, carbon fiber that!
Bulgarian builder -
Mother and wife!
Bulgarian in any
Endeavor is important!

But if the builder
Falter hand
He can say goodbye
With eggs forever!

The conclusion from this is very simple:
Bulgarians do not touch, if female, buhoy!
If you smoked a cigarette in the morning anasha -
Working grinder not you hurry!
If the dryer nyuhnul for jerk,
Well then fuck it - hand tremble!
If the grinder will work under the protagonist -
Then you can prisnut and left without dick!
But under the mushrooms or elesde
Any work going on pussy!


Sweet posters, by the way.
posted by windbox at 2:08 PM on January 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Whoever wrote that was a true Engineer of the Soul!
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on January 17, 2011


I could see these posters being metaphors for the Soviet workers role in the early Soviet Union.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:10 PM on January 17, 2011


It's notable that the ones involving electricity actually show the electric path between the device and ground... whereas ones I've seen in the U.S. usually show a menacing bolt leaping out and attacking people, or stabbing them.
posted by odinsdream at 2:11 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


nasreddin, help me out with "Do not roll a joint with tweezers if you are a bear."

It says "Use only tweezers to insert the die into the mold. Danger!" Not sure the bear is relevant, but at least he knows what he's doing!

Ah, shit, nasreddin beat me to it. What's the word for "bottle" they're using in that one?


It's бутыль, which is the non-diminutive form of the normal word for bottle--бутылка. It usually means, predictably enough, "big bottle."
posted by nasreddin at 2:12 PM on January 17, 2011


doctor_negative: "Do not get your head stuck between 2 train cars. Seems sensible enough"

My portrait of the poor fool:

Oo
^
posted by idiopath at 2:13 PM on January 17, 2011


Workers Pared and Diced.
posted by Kabanos at 2:14 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


That would explain it; my vocabulary has degraded to the point where I am unaware of the non-diminutive in that situation. Several miles away, my grandparents are very frustrated with me right now and they have no idea why.
posted by griphus at 2:14 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love these, love the graphics.

In a lot of them it seems that making the place safer would be better than putting up sign telling people to be careful, though. There are a couple of posters of people injured by touching exposed, uninsulated electrical wires. Seriously.

Having grown up on a farm, I have a LOT of respect for things that rotate. Seeing the posters of the people getting hair, clothes, and fingers caught in machinery just gives me the damn willies. We had a PTO (power takeoff) shaft at the back of our tractor that was exposed and always rotating. Getting caught on it was not an option. That thing scared the hell out of me, but I still have my fingers.

Lastly, I am excited to share a link to one of my all time favorite safety videos. It's German, not Russian, but better safe than sorry in any language.
posted by Xoebe at 2:16 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. These make the work of manufacturing accident forensics look a lot more cool and hip than I've ever been able to describe it.
posted by jeanmari at 2:20 PM on January 17, 2011


HOPE
you didn't need those fingers comrade
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, this one is good: Hey slacker, don't cripple your friends!


So when I clicked this link, Chrome asked if I wanted to have the page translated for me. One of the posters appears to have written a poem in one of his reponses, and while I'm sure google translate screwed this up big time, it is pretty much amazing. Best read in a thick Russian accent:

That poem is about an angle grinder. Here's the last verse:

The conclusion from this is very simple:
Don't touch the grinder if you're drunk, bitch!
If you toked up in the morning a little,
Don't be in a hurry to work with the grinder!
If you've snorted some speed for the push,
Just fuck it--your hands will shake!
If you work with the angle-grinder on heroin,
You could nod off and be left with no dick!
And with mushrooms and LSD, well,
Any work will just get fucked up.
posted by nasreddin at 2:21 PM on January 17, 2011 [17 favorites]


For whatever reason, my stupid brain Rule 34ed this one early on, and from that point forwards I looked at all of them with that filter in place.

And they get really kinky and weird when viewed from that perspective.
posted by quin at 2:22 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah Burhanistan, I just now saw your link to the other thread (which has the safety vid I so love). Been watching the top video in there. Jeeeesh.
posted by Xoebe at 2:24 PM on January 17, 2011


Workplace safety is some heavy shit, that's for sure. I have a desk job, so I don't usually work around machinery, but going to customer sites is a different story. What really drove this home for me was the first time I got an unironic thumbs-up and a cheerful "safety first!" from a passerby, all for stopping in the hallway to tie my shoe.

The "Sign up for the [GUY WHO DIED LAST YEAR] Memorial 5K Fun Run!" banners were also quite effective.
posted by vorfeed at 2:25 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I did some summer work at a PCB factory that had a vat of cyanide and a vat of trike. A long-timer there told me that if you got the cynanide on you you might as well take a big whiff of the trike, so as to go out on a high.

I'd say it was some kind of weird gallows humour, but that guy was kind of weird.
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are wonderful, and good for your Russian as well! The seventh one down in the first link says ОСТЕРЕГАЙСЯ УДАРА ЗЮЗьГОЙ!, "Beware of the blow of the зюзьга (zyuzga)!" I had no idea what a zyuzga was and it's such a specialized word it's not in any of my dictionaries, but the picture made it clear (and a Google Book search confirmed that it's a kind of fishing net).

> What's the word for "bottle" they're using in that one?

It's бутыль 'large bottle; carboy, drum'; the word you're used to, бутылка, is a diminutive of that.

> nasreddin, help me out with "Do not roll a joint with tweezers if you are a bear."

It says (more or less, depending on how accurately I've rendered the technical terms) "Put the billet in the compression mold only with pincers! It's dangerous!"
posted by languagehat at 2:29 PM on January 17, 2011


I did some summer work at a PCB factory

Not, I should point out, in the soviet union.
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on January 17, 2011


For the British Central Office of Information's take on industrial accidents--and for some reasons why the countryside is no place for children, so maybe that compulsory purchase order we're about to serve you with isn't such a bad thing after all--see Apaches. (Wiki link.)

Warning: May contain scenes of cultural insensitivity and/or fatally squished kids.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:35 PM on January 17, 2011


You might as well set a mantrap!

/and now my childhood rug phobia has returned.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on January 17, 2011


As is usual when I see things like this (I guess I have a soft spot for WWII and Cold War propaganda) I wish that there were a source of cheap reproductions. I don't suppose anyone would happen to know of a place that offers such things?
posted by Scientist at 2:42 PM on January 17, 2011


In Soviet Russia, Warning Posters You!
posted by Fizz at 2:51 PM on January 17, 2011


this is not NSFW
posted by nervousfritz at 3:16 PM on January 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Warning: You are too sexy for the pipes!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:25 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Mickey Mouse ears of the filthy imperialists will fuck your head!
posted by Abiezer at 4:23 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


"All I said was I voted Liberal Democrat because Clegg seemed a straight-up guy..."
posted by Abiezer at 4:26 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cat Pie Hurts: "Warning: You are too sexy for the pipes!"

Too sexy for the pipes, too sexy it's hype!

And you're too sexy for the fish, too sexy for the fish
Even though they're delish!

I'm a worker, you know what I mean
And I do my little work on the catwalk ...
posted by bwg at 4:29 PM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like these a good deal more than the yellow background, black stick figure you usually see in the States. On the other hand, as Xoebe mentions, farm safety is no joke. In college, desperate for something to do, we went to the John Deere museum in Moline (the Quad Cities, a veritable hotbed of culture). The yellow warning signs with the black stick figures were absolutely fascinating. There was the drive shaft, with the guy wrapped around it. There was the pretty blatant warning "Stick your hand in here, lose fingers," which showed a hand, a blade, and several finger tips in space. So yeah, if you're ever in the Quad Cities, and you can't flee immediately, spending an afternoon at the Deere museum isn't so bad.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:30 PM on January 17, 2011



Этот сайт был запрет свободной для
нулевого
дня

Не задницы шляпе!!!

posted by not_on_display at 4:39 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was the pretty blatant warning "Stick your hand in here, lose fingers," which showed a hand, a blade, and several finger tips in space.

That'd be your classic "Pinch Point" or "Cutting Hazard" warning. I worked a summer in a factory that made "designer stone" (i.e. the sort of fancy, overpriced cinderblocks schools are made out of), and those were on pretty much every single piece of equipment in the place.

...And then there was the mixer, which was just like the sort of mixer Martha Stewart uses to make cake batter, only it's four feet tall, eight feet in diameter, enclosed, and with three giant steel blades (and I mean blades) that both revolve and rotate in such a way that there are no areas that go unmixed; being inside while it's turned on would spell instant death. Well, occasionally the mixer needed to be cleaned out with an air chisel. The only way to do this was to climb in through a small hatch. Thankfully, there was a safety measure in place: There was only one key to start the machine, and if you were in there cleaning, you had that key in your pocket. I cleaned the machine once. Then I quit.

(Turns out, though, that a more pressing concern when working in a factory filled with rock dust is occupational silicosis. The more you know!)
posted by Sys Rq at 5:03 PM on January 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Comrade Stalin was remarkably clumsy.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:27 PM on January 17, 2011


I was viewing these, one after the other when... oh wait... I've done that one.
I forgot about that incident.
Embarrassing.


Every one of these posters describes things that have happened to real people. :-/
posted by -harlequin- at 5:48 PM on January 17, 2011


This reads like a pictographic explication of how the Soviet Union collapsed. "First, we lost Gennedy, struck with a shovel..."
posted by bicyclefish at 6:34 PM on January 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am reminded of the engineer who started using the shop's engine lathe, and looked confused when I said he should remove his necktie. Also another engineer who wanted me to hold the rim of the steering wheel he was going to modify the hub of on a milling machine. He didn't think it was worth the effort to figure out how to clamp the wheel to the mill table. I said I wanted nothing to do with his imminent maiming.

Farm machinery is famously dangerous, and yet, farm children learn to drive tractors at an early age.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:02 PM on January 17, 2011


Every one of these posters describes things that have happened to real people.

Not just that. Every absurd warning you see on random products? From "Do not ingest." to "Caution, contents are hot." those are most likely the results of lawsuits from someone doing something stupid.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:37 PM on January 17, 2011


Can anyone tell me what the heck is going on in this one? I mean, I see that the lifting strap is falling on the guy, but how did this bizarre situation occur in the first place?


For some reason the farm-tools ones crack me up. I hear a sort of Disney pastoral voiceover in my head: "Oh, we are honest farmers working the soil, dum dum de dum, for the good of the country, dum de dum, and the glorious— OW FUCK GODDAMIT WATCH WHERE YOU PUT THAT THING"
posted by hattifattener at 10:01 PM on January 17, 2011


hattifattener: It says "don't throw the lifting strap in the ship holding section without warning" i.e. someone threw it in from above.
posted by rainy at 10:49 PM on January 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somehow these remind me of reading Ilf & Petrov's chapters about journalists, from 12 chairs and especially the Golden Calf. They have the same directness and expressive language. Oh, and I remember that episode where Ostap Bender got a job painting a lottery billboard..
posted by rainy at 10:52 PM on January 17, 2011


This is a good a place as any to share this little story: Last year I'm on maneuvers with my reserve unit, and we're driving on public roads from A to B. Of course we stop at a service station and replenish our stocks of candy, soda and snacks. The squad leader of one of the other squads in my platoon buys a packet of beef jerky. With it comes, he assumes, a small packet of oddly granular spices. He eats his jerky, crunchy spices and all. After a fairly short time our columns performs an emergency stop and he tumbles into the ditch, his stomach hurting and desperate for an evacuation.

While he's tending to his business, a little CSI work on our part determines that he just ate a whole packet of desiccant... It was actually imprinted with "do not eat". A short stay at the field hospital and he was back in action. He hasn't fully lived it down yet, though...
posted by Harald74 at 1:06 AM on January 18, 2011


--see Apaches.

Holy crap, that was awesome. Until they had to be all Debbie Downer at the end and mention children actually dying.
posted by XMLicious at 1:50 AM on January 18, 2011


"Workplace safety posters"

Those posters depict the exact opposite of workplace safety!
posted by Catch at 5:50 AM on January 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are priceless, and far too many made me laugh. But then, I've always giggled at "remove tie before operating lathe" signs too.

BTW really preferred the Windbox translation of the poem. Well then fuck it--hand tremble! Couldn't have put it better myself.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:57 AM on January 18, 2011


They all translate to

"Accident at work that wasn't your fault? Call CLAIMS DIRECT to speak to one of our operators about a no-win, no-fee compensation claim!"
posted by genghis at 5:54 PM on January 18, 2011


« Older The Words That Maketh Murder/The Last Living Rose ...  |  The Battle Hymn of Sarah Palin... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments