In the wake of all the attention focused on kill cords (emergency engine kill-switch lanyards) by the Milligan accident, Powerboat & RIB Magazine (PBR) is taking action will be sending our free “Attach Your Kill Cord” warning stickers with their July issue. They announced the new warning stickers labels were in stock via Twitter on May 28, 2013.

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

Kill Cord Warning sticker by Powerboat & RIB magazine

PBR will also mail out their free kill cord stickers on request for a small postage fee (50p in the UK).

We salute Powerboat & RIB magazine for responding to the need for boaters to attach kill cords / kill switch lanyards. Thank You!

While what PBR did is wonderful, we would offer a couple suggestions if they decide to run another batch of warning labels / stickers. While their efforts are obviously not an attempt to create an official ANSI Z535 or ISO complaint warning label, a few ideas from the standards might improve this label.

Suggestions for improving the label/sticker:

  • Change all the text (except the word “WARNING”) from “all caps” to a mix of “upper and lower case” to improve readability. For example, “Attach Your Kill Cord” is easier to read than “ATTACH YOUR KILL CORD”. Use google to search for: warning labels ansi z535 and click on the “images” tab to see some examples of the use of upper and lower case text in warnings.
  • Change all text to Helvetica font. It is the font of choice of most sign makers and label printers, and much easier to read than the stencil font used for “WARNING ATTACH YOUR KILL CORD”.
  • Its all about testing. Try your existing sticker on some RIB owners and try a new one enlisting the two ideas above, then use whichever one you think will get the most RIB owners to attach their kill cord consistently over time.

Again, a tremendous thanks to Powerboat and RIB magazine for seizing this opportunity to make their readers safer. I cannot imagine a boating magazine similarly responding in the U.S. We are still debating whether or not new boats should be required to have kill switches installed in them and boating publications are afraid to write about safety issues because they fear reprisals from their advertisers. If you don’t already subscribe to PBR, please consider subscribing. We have been an electronic version subscriber for a while and look forward to each new issue.


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