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Soviet-Era Work Safety Notices

The U.S.S.R. was notorious for its omnipresent propaganda. The Bolshevik regime proved wonderfully adept at using the skills of talented graphic designers and writers to create vivid images and slogans aimed at ideologically motivating the masses to transform society. Their work permeated all aspects of life during the communist era, including art, industry, and science. As an item posted on the English Russia website illustrates, however, the state even invested a lot of artistic endeavor into such mundane areas as health and safety at the workplace. (See the captions for translations.)

"Don't walk on fish"
1

"Don't walk on fish"

"Don't use water to extinguish a fire in the engine. It conducts electricity"
2

"Don't use water to extinguish a fire in the engine. It conducts electricity"

"Don't stand under the scaffolding when people are working above"
3

"Don't stand under the scaffolding when people are working above"

"Don't check for an electrical current with your finger"
4

"Don't check for an electrical current with your finger"

"I was drunk at work"
5

"I was drunk at work"

"Watch your step!"
6

"Watch your step!"

"Don't open the lid of a machine before it stops"
7

"Don't open the lid of a machine before it stops"

"Read the manual before starting work!"
8

"Read the manual before starting work!"

"Cover your hair!"
9

"Cover your hair!"

 "Beware of railway couplings!"
10

 "Beware of railway couplings!"

"Don't leave anything on the scaffolding unsecured!"
11

"Don't leave anything on the scaffolding unsecured!"

"Be careful with hoes!"
12

"Be careful with hoes!"

"Be careful with pitchforks!"
13

"Be careful with pitchforks!"

"Don't use your foot to change the belt"
14

"Don't use your foot to change the belt"

"Don't clean the cylinders while they are in motion"
15

"Don't clean the cylinders while they are in motion"

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