You have some great lab safety posters laminated and mounted strategically around the lab. Great! Problem is, after a few months, people get used to seeing them and don't notice them anymore. Your shiny new posters might as well be wallpaper. Here's an idea you may not have tried: the bathroom.

The bathroom may seem like an odd location to place a lab safety poster. But advertisers known the advantages of placing ads there for a long time. In the ad world, it is known as captive advertising or convenience advertising. Whatever you call it, bathroom placement presents many advantages, including the obvious one:

1. Everyone goes to the bathroom

Let's face it. Nature calls for everybody at one point or another. Placing the poster in a bathroom near the lab almost guarantees it will be seen by exactly the people who need to see it.

2. Memory

In an panicky, emergency situation, emergency response protocol needs to be an easy grab from the top of the mind. People may not think back to the safety training video they watched months ago. Placing the poster in a place people visit several times a day is a great way to keep lab safety messages fresh in mind.

3. Generates conversation

Poster with broken glasses pasted on it: William Penaluna was wearing these. He's sold on safety goggles. Are you?To create an enduring lab safety culture in your organization, you need to do more than offer instruction and reminders. You need to get your employees talking to one another about safety. It needs to be part of their lives. Placing some creative messages on the bathroom walls will definitely generate conversation.

4. Captive audience

Advertisers refer to bathroom ads as "captive advertising" for a reason: in the bathroom, people do not have the option to change the channel or turn the page. Since there are few distractions in the bathroom, people tend to give your lab safety posters their undivided attention.

How to do it

There are many places to put your poster inside of a bathroom. If your building or institution allows it, it could be hung on the door, placed on the wall, stuck onto the mirrors, or even on the floor. (Of course, make sure the poster itself does not become a safety hazard.) Pro tip: give people an incentive to interact with the poster. Make a poster with a takeaway strip on the bottom that can be used in a staff drawing or contest. 

What lab safety posters to use?

What kinds of lab safety messages can you communicate in a short time? You can teach employees hazards, show recent incidents or difficulties, or keep the viewer updated on new regulations or OSHA standards they must be compliant with. The Laboratory Safety Institute offers many posters on a variety of topics. The PDFs are free to download and print yourself, or you can order a printed copy from us.

Whether it is online, on social media, billboards, park benches, or anything in between, people are surrounded by information. So many different things are vying for the attention of your employees. A bathroom is a great place to catch people off guard and give them a little education during their visit.

If your lab safety poster, sticker, or takeaway card starts just one conversation, you are helping to create a culture of safety. You are helping your staff to make safety an integral and important part of their lives.