Aragon Valley Classic: Occupational safety campaigns at the beginning of the 20th century

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Just one month ago, on april 7th, the last OSH campaign of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), on stress and psychosocial risks, was launched.

This is a recent and outstanding case of what a today´s dissemination campaign on a specific topic may be: a long term initiative (EU-OSHA´s campaign lasts 2 years), relying on inimaginable resources and any sort of activities which involve to all the agents belonging to the subject of the campaign. With the raise of the Internet and the information and communication technology in the lasts decades, the concept of campaign gave a qualitative step forward.

Campaigns are in permanent evolution. Despite the EU-OSHA´s one is considered the best OSH campaign in the world, soon or later a new campaign improving all the previous ones will be launched. So, this is just a step in the progress of such kind of dissemination campaigns. A way which, in the case of the official OSH campaigns started approximately one century ago.

“Official campaigns on safety and health started in the 20th century, and the United States were the pioneering country arranging the firsts campaigns in 1908″ [1]

A recent publication of the Spanish site Prevención Integral titled “risk prevention posters of the early 20th century” is about these pioneering campaigns of the early 20th century.

In addition to a detailed explanation of the beginning and progress of dissemination OSH campaigns, the section includes an excellent collection with 734 posters published between 1925 and 1937 in some twenty industrialized countries of those years, which originals are archived in the National Archive of Catalonia.

Appart from the mottos of lot of them (very similar to the messages spread nowadays by occupational safety and health professionals, what is food for thought…) is absolutely absorbing to see the work equipment, instruments, facilities used that time; also, the cultural, social and politic nuances of each country.

All this, with the particular artistic style inspired in art deco, similar to the comic look like.

Although I recommend you to visit directly the webpage at Prevención Integral where are available all the posters, this is a sample with my 71 favourites:

Reference
[1] PREVENCIÓN INTEGRAL. Carteles de prevención de principios del siglo XX. Enlace. Consulted on 07.05.2014.

Bibliography
PREVENCIÓN INTEGRAL. Carteles de prevención de principios del siglo XX. Enlace. Consulted on 07.05.2014.
FERNÁNDEZ A., BARNECHEA E., HARO J. 1993. Historia del Arte, primera edición. Vicens-Vives.
WIKIPEDIA. 30 de abril de 2014. Art déco. Enlace. Consulted on 07.05.2014.

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