Friday, October 28, 2016

Machine Shop - Danger Everywhere!

One of my sons is a "technical writer".  In this line of work he presumably has to suppress his considerable talents as a creative writer. Technical writing - think instruction manuals and such - tends to be rather straightforward stuff.  Nuance and humor are probably not encouraged.

I asked him recently if the real purpose of this type of writing was actually instructing users of products or helping to legally protect the company when people do things wrong.  He thought about it for a moment and said "About equal amounts of each".

I'm sure he will work a bit of artistry into his work, make it more than just boilerplate. Perhaps the challenge of the format will make his achievements more impressive.  

As I go here and there about the machine shop I have come to realize that there exists as sort of parallel to technical writers....technical artists.  Again they have a dual assignment.  Warn people of hazards.  And make said warnings so obvious that a jury of sensible people would say "Why didn't you pay attention to the sign?"

Technical Artistry at work....

Above and below images both appear to be warning of the perils of Electric Eels lurking in the ceiling of the shop.  Interestingly only the upper image has the red line which is regarded as the Universal "Don't" symbol.  And that stickman appears to be tolerating the voltage well enough to stay on his feet.  The poor devil below is down for the count. Also the Eel appears to be coiled for a second strike.  Also his little round head is no longer attached to his body.  Bummer.

This next one strikes me as the most effective of the bunch.  If you put your hand into an auger there will be bright red gouts of blood and one or more of your digits will come off.  As fortune telling this Augury is quite likely to come true.

Most of the potential dangers of the shop area are right there for you to see.  The deadly Black Dots are one that I have not encountered yet. Perhaps this is more of a warning against using child labor.  Check out the head size relative to the body.  This is a toddler.  Maybe they recycled an image for whooping cough vaccine.  But if I start to see swirling black dots I will definitely be extra watchful for danger.

It's not entirely clear just what this stick dude did wrong.  But the consequences of his folly were immediate and dire.  Not perhaps the most effective work in the collection.  The way in which random bits of this unfortunate guy are breaking off of him makes me think of him as perhaps being a ceramic lawn gnome.

Some machines are so packed with imminent danger that their warning panels are grisly triptychs of assorted Woe.  Nice to see that Mr. Bill has found work as an artist's model so many years after his brief SNL career ended!


Honeybee said...

You just talked/illustrated me out of machining school!

mooseandhobbes said...

Christonaike! There are too many signs in that workshop.
Is there one telling you not to be looking at signs when you should be paying attention to the digit-threatening machinery that you are currently operating?

jon spencer said...

This sign always gets a grin from me,

Tacitus2 said...


Nah, not specific enough to keep the lawyers at bay...