Industrialisation of the Soviet economy was one of Stalin’s top priorities. A modern, industrial USSR would have economic independence from capitalist countries. But, machines, electricity, hot iron, sharp tools were a major threat for the “new era” workers. Poor safety standards and a largely illiterate population meant workplace accidents were commonplace.
The state commissioned artists to create visual and often violent safety posters for the walls of factories. Bright colours and striking graphics were a common theme of the posters which were developed in the hopes of communicating to an often illiterate population. Safety posters advised workers to wear safety glasses, not to touch live wires, and to avoid putting fingers in front of blades.