Advertisement

Interpretability of Surround Shapes Around Safety Symbols: Cross-Cultural Differences Among Migrant Farmworkers

  • Giorgia Bagagiolo
  • Federica Caffaro
  • Lucia Vigoroso
  • Ambra Giustetto
  • Eugenio Cavallo
  • Margherita Micheletti Cremasco
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)

Abstract

Risk communication based on safety signs is a fundamental component in high-hazard industries as agriculture, to prevent injuries. To make signs easily comprehensible by all users, the design of safety signs has been standardized in terms of color and shape to distinguish the different types of safety messages. Nevertheless, several studies demonstrated that individual characteristics as education, cultural background, and experience, can affect safety signs comprehension. Considering the increasing number of the migrant workforce in agriculture, especially in high-income countries, it is significant to investigate cross–cultural differences in safety signs interpretation. A sample of sixty migrants (Romanian n = 8; Indian n = 12; Pakistani n = 28; Gambian n = 12) employed in Italian farms was asked to associate four graphical symbols representing the main types of safety messages (mandatory, prohibition, warning, emergency), to the corresponding surround shape. With regard to geometric shape interpretation, the results showed that less than 50% of participants chose the standardized shape for warning (triangle), mandatory and prohibition (round) signs; while the majority of respondents assigned the emergency sign to the square shape. With regard to nationality, all the shape-symbol associations made by Romanians corresponded to the standardized ones, followed by Indians (52%), Pakistanis (43%) and Gambians (42%). No significant differences emerged either for the length of stay in Italy or for years of education. Results confirmed the role of national culture in safety signs interpretation and seem to show that only migrants from countries closer to the Western culture are more familiar with the meaning of standardized shapes.

Keywords

Safety symbols Migrant farmworkers Risk communication 

References

  1. 1.
    Lundgren RE, McMaking AH (2013) Risk communication. A handbook for communicating environmental, safety, and health risks. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://www.epa.gov/risk/risk-communication
  2. 2.
    Smith-Jackson TL, Essuman-Johnson A (2002) Cultural ergonomics in Ghana, West Africa: a descriptive survey of industry and trade workers’ interpretations of safety symbols. Int J Occup Saf Ergon 8(1):37–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wogalter MS, Deloy DM, Laughery KR (2005) Warnings and Risk Communication. Taylor & Francis LtdGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Collins BL, Lerner ND, Pierman BC (1982) Symbols for Industrial Safety. No. NBSIR 82-2485 Final RptGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wogalter MS, Sojourner RJ, Brelsford JW (1997) Comprehension and retention of safety pictorials. Ergonomics 40(5):531–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rodriguez MA (1991) What makes a warning label salient? Proc Hum Factors Ergon Soc Ann Meet 35(15):1029–1033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Caffaro F, Cavallo E (2015) Comprehension of safety pictograms affixed to agricultural machinery: a survey of users. J Saf Res 55:151–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boelhouwer E, Davis J, Franco-Watkins A, Dorris N, Lungu C (2013) Comprehension of hazard communication: effects of pictograms on safety data sheets and labels. J Saf Res 46:145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Caffaro F, Bagagiolo G, Cremasco Micheletti M, Cavallo E (2017) Participatory ergonomic design of a safety training tool for migrant workers in agriculture. Chem Eng Trans 58:25–30Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Caffaro F, et al (2017) Machinery-related perceived risks and safety attitudes in senior Swedish farmers. J Agromed Haworth PressGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Blees GJ, Mak WM (2012) Comprehension of disaster pictorials across cultures. J Multiling Multicult Dev 33(7):699–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Casey TW, Riseborough KM, Krauss AD (2015) Do you see what I see? Effects of national culture on employees’ safety-related perceptions and behavior. Accid Anal Prev 78:173–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Starren A, Hornikx J, Luijters K (2013) Occupational safety in multicultural teams and organizations: a research agenda. Saf Sci 52:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Guldenmund F, Cleal B, Mearns K (2013) An exploratory study of migrant workers and safety in three European countries. Saf Sci 52:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Menger LM, Rosecrance J, Stallones L, Roman-Muniz IN (2016) A guide to the design of occupational safety and health training for immigrant, Latino/a dairy workers. Front Pub Health 4(December):1–11Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ng AWY, Chan AHS (2017) Mental models of construction workers for safety-sign representation. J Constr Eng Manag 143(2):4016091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    International Labour Organization (ILO) (2015) ILO Global estimates on migrant workers: Results and Methodology - Special focus on migrant domestic workers. (International Labour Organization (ILO)). http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_436343.pdf
  18. 18.
    Cliff KS (1981) Agriculture - the occupational hazards. Pub Health 95(1):15–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Loureiro ML (2009) Farmers’ health and agricultural productivity. Agricult Econ 40(4):381–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    International Labour Organization (ILO): Agriculture: a hazardous work. International Labour Organization. http://www.ilo.org/safework/areasofwork/hazardous-work/WCMS_110188/lang–en/index.htm
  21. 21.
    Mekkodathil A, El-Menyar A, Al-Thani H (2016) Occupational injuries in workers from different ethnicities. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 6(1):25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pia M (2009) Orrenius & madeline zavodny: do immigrants work in riskier jobs? Demography 46(3):535–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Salminen S (2011) Are immigrants at increased risk of occupational injury? A literature review. Ergon Open J 4(1):125–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ng AWY, Chan AHS (2015) Effects of user factors and sign referent characteristics in participatory construction safety sign redesign. Saf Sci 74:44–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Chapanis A (1994) Hazards associated with three signal words and four colours on warning signs. Ergonomics 37(2):265–275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Smith-Jackson TL (2000) Wogalter MS (2000) Applying cultural ergonomics/human factors to safety information research. Proc Hum Factors Ergon Soc Ann Meet 44(33):150–153Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yu RF, Chan AHS, Salvendy G (2004) Chinese perceptions of implied hazard for signal words and surround shapes. Hum Factors Ergon Manuf 14(1):69–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cochran DJ, Riley MW, Douglass EI (1981) An investigation of shapes for warning labels. In: Proceedings of the human factors society-25th annual meeting - 1981, pp 395–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (2011) Graphical symbols – Safety colors and safety signs – Part 1: Design principles for safety signs in workplaces and public areas (Standard No. ISO 3864-1:2011)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    CARITAS-MIGRANTES (2015) XXV Rapporto Immigrazione 2015. http://www.integrazionemigranti.gov.it/Documenti-e-ricerche/Sintesi_OK(1).pdf
  31. 31.
    Coldiretti: Immigrazione  (2014) Coldiretti, un quarto dell’ agricoltura italiana in mani straniere. www.coldiretti.it
  32. 32.
    81/2008, D. L.: Attuazione dell’articolo 1 della legge 3 agosto 2007, n. 123, in materia di tutela della salute e della sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoro. GU Serie Generale n.101 del 30-4-2008 - Suppl. Ordinario n. 108Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cicerchia M (2014) Indagine sull’impiego degli immigrati in agricoltura in Italia 2012. Indagine sull’impiego degli immigrati in agricoltura in Italia 2012 (Report on migrant agricultural workforce in Italy, year 2012)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (2012) Graphical symbols – safety colors and safety signs – Part 3: design principles for graphical symbols for use in safety signs (Standard No. ISO 3864-3:2012)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (2011) Graphical symbols – Public information symbols (Standard No. ISO 7010:2011)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hofstede G (1991) Contemporary issues in cross-cultural psychology (Bleichrodt N, Drenth PJK eds). Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse, The Netherlands)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hare B, Cameron I, Real KJ, Maloney WF (2013) Exploratory case study of pictorial aids for communicating health and safety for migrant construction workers. J Constr Eng Manag 139(7):818–825CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Smith-Jackson TL, Wogalter MS, Quintela Y Cultural ergonomics and the pesticide risk divide. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on applied human factors and ergonomicsGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Brunette MJ (2005) Development of educational and training materials on safety and health: Targeting Hispanic workers in the construction industry. Family Commun Health 28(3):253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Rubbiani M (2010) Survey among agricultural workers about interpretation of plant protection product labels and safety data sheets. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanita 46(1):66–80Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Chan AHS, Ng AWY (2010) Effects of sign characteristics and training methods on safety sign training effectiveness. Ergonomics 53(11):1325–1346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Caffaro F, Micheletti Cremasco M, Bagagiolo G, Vigoroso L, Cavallo E (2018) Effectiveness of occupational safety and health training for migrant farmworkers: a scoping review. Pub Health 160:10–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Agricultural and Earthmoving Machines (IMAMOTER)National Research Council of Italy (CNR)TurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences and Systems BiologyUniversity of TorinoTurinItaly

Personalised recommendations