The guessing of mine safety signs meaning : Effects of user factors and cognitive sign features

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


This study investigated the effects of user factors and cognitive sign features on the guessability of mine safety signs. Sixty naive participants guessed the meanings and rated the cognitive sign features of 42 Mainland Chinese mine safety signs. The results showed that some user factors were significant predictors of guessing performance, while some were not. As expected, guessability scores varied significantly with the cognitive sign features of familiarity, concreteness, simplicity, meaningfulness and semantic closeness. The findings emphasize the need to create awareness of the importance of mine safety and promote understanding of mine safety sign meanings amongst people in their work environments. To design more user-friendly mine safety signs, industrial designers should develop and evaluate signs with consideration of the significant user factors and the 5 sign features tested here.

Research Area(s)

  • Cognitive sign features, Guessability, Mine safety signs, User factors