Literacy and the comprehension of public safety signs, with and without written aids.

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dc.contributor.author Howell, Lindsay
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-28T05:36:09Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-28T05:36:09Z
dc.date.issued 2009-01-28T05:36:09Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/5975
dc.description.abstract The aim of this study is to determine the comprehension levels of safety signs with and without written aids among South African workers. Numerous studies on warnings and safety have identified certain factors that can influence the effectiveness of safety communications such as, individuals’ behavioural responses to safety messages as well as the impact of design features on safety information (Kline, Braun, Peterson & Silver, 1993). However, little research has explored the role that literacy plays in interpreting safety information, specifically in developing countries such as South Africa where illiteracy is common. Sixty structured interviews were conducted at the Johannesburg General Hospital, a locale which essentially everyone has equal public access to. Twelve randomly ordered safety signs were presented to participants upon which they were required to describe what they understood each safety sign meant. Varied education and literacy levels were evident however the majority of the sample had only received some level of high school education. Interestingly, of the twelve safety signs chosen for this study, only three safety signs (SS1, SS4 and SS7) were ‘acceptable’ according to ANSI Z535.3 (1991) and ISO’s 3864 (1984) criteria. Furthermore, results from this study suggest that there is a relationship between one’s level of education and the understanding of certain safety signs. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Literacy en
dc.subject Safety signs en
dc.title Literacy and the comprehension of public safety signs, with and without written aids. en
dc.type Thesis en


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    Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of the Witwatersrand, 1972.

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