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A journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.
November 7, 2017

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Safety history

Russian Revolution: health and safety posters from the Soviet era

“Don’t stand under the scaffolding when people are working above”

Today marks 100 years since the Russian Revolution of 1917. Shocking workplace conditions and a lack of safety played a vital part in the creation of revolutionary fervour. SHP Online has compiled a collection of alarming health and safety posters from the Bolshevik era that were used to illustrate the dangers of work.

It may well be true that Stalinism, the Gulag work camps, and the militarisation of the factory meant the Bolshevik Revolution in Russian was not exactly a template for the modern workplace and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

But there is one part of the revolution which is worth revisiting. One of the main reasons for revolutionary fervour in the country in the early twentieth century was the appalling working conditions found within factories across Russia, and played a significant role in the earlier 1905 and February 2017 revolutions.

Need for education

Although across Europe safety standards were still poor, in Russia it was particularly acute, with 11 hour work days and non-existent safety rules and procedures. Additionally, half of the workforce was essentially illiterate, making education of the dangers from manufacturing equipment challenging.

Realising the need to desperately educate workers following the revolution, Lenin and his propaganda team got to work on some disarmingly violent posters to illustrate the importance of health and safety in the workplace in a clear, visual way.

Below are eleven of these soviet era posters.

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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