The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has signed a multi-million-pound deal permitting product placement on emergency signs in public places from January 2010. The new rules will mean that companies will be able to see their brands on emergency and hazard signs on roads and public buildings, and in official guidance for health and safety risk situations.
The most visible changes will be seen early in the new year when the small white figure on emergency exit signs is replaced by Bertie Bassett. ‘The new signage is designed to be much more aspirational,’ said an HSE spokesman. ‘Previously when there was a fire in a cinema or shopping centre, people didn’t really know what to do because the signs were so boring. But with Bertie Bassett, the nation’s favourite liquorice icon, pointing the way, we’re sure people will just love the idea of walking quickly but in an orderly fashion out of the doors and round to the designated meeting point. It will bring familiarity and fun to stressful, panicky situations.’
Revised guidance on first aid includes an additional chapter on emergency wrinkle avoidance paid for by Loreal. New guidelines on what to do in a Sheila’s Wheels Road Traffic Accident outlines a revised ‘recovery position’ which sees the injured person’s limbs form the shape of a Ford Ka, which the walking wounded should be encouraged to try and spot amidst the wreckage.
The HSE denies that the changes will be confusing in crisis situations. ‘When you have a heart attack on public transport, you don’t care whose brand name appears on the defibrillators they use to revive you,’ the spokesman said. ‘Just don’t have a heart attack on a train during March, when we will be taking them all out of service to paint over the British Heart Foundation symbol with the logo of their new sponsor, Lurpak.’
25th September 2009