Striking altered images of Hollywood greats Steve McQueen and Marilyn Monroe are leading a work safety campaign to protect Newcastle University students bound for engineering careers.
The Eye-conic? posters, featuring the stars sporting eye patches, were the choice of students at the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering to reinforce the message of eye protection in workshop sessions.
The posters adorn workshop and communal areas of the school’s base in the Stephenson Building as part of its close working relationship with Newcastle-based British Engines.
Lecturers were keen to reinforce the message of undergraduates wearing eye protection to guard against injury during engineering skills training at the school and at the British Engines’ factory.
Richard Dodd, group product and engineering director at British Engines, said: “As part of our relationship with the university, they reported to us the problem of some of the students being reluctant to wear their eye protection or forgetting to bring it with them to their practical workshop sessions.
“They wanted to find some way of communicating the importance of this to them so that students recognised just how important eye safety is in a real working environment, but in a way which is memorable and not dictatorial.
“We pitched various innovative ideas to the students and the Hollywood ‘Eye-conic?’ images were their overwhelming choice. As a result eye protection is becoming less of an issue now.”
The poster campaign is part of a major revamp of the school’s foyer in the Stephenson Building, which now celebrates the North East’s rich engineering heritage. It was devised and produced by the Newcastle-based communications agency MDA.
Dr John Appleby, head of Newcastle University’s School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering, said: “We’re delighted with the new foyer design from British Engines and the safety posters will make it easier to remind students and staff of sensible behaviour.
“Our links with British Engines are part of our strategy to integrate our degree programmes with local industry to enhance the educational experience and to promote local employment too.”