Campaign to end sign 'blindness'

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has produced a new guide to slipway safety signs and symbols, which aims to set a new national standard for the design and content of slipway signage.

The RNLI hopes that a standardisation in signage around the coast of the UK and Ireland will help to reduce the number of accidents and lifeboat launches.

The guide was developed by the RNLI during a two-year research and consultation programme in partnership with the UK Harbour Masters Association, UK Port Authorities and local councils. Research showed that at slipway locations around the coast of the UK and Ireland, users are often bombarded with different types of signs and a variety of information – public, statutory, hazards and safety. The variety of different messages, materials, colours and sizes of signs can lead to public confusion and ‘sign blindness.’

To help combat ‘sign blindness’ the RNLI’s consultation culminated in the trial of the newly devised standard for signage in seven locations across Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and on the River Thames in London in August 2007. The success of the trial helped identify three categories of signs suitable for display on public slipways: access signs, reminder signs and daily conditions signs. It also resulted in the final development of the ‘RNLI’s Guide to Slipway Safety Signs and Symbols’.

/>See Dick Durham’s blog.