Avoiding safety sign blindness in the warehouse
Nobody wants a lawsuit in their warehouse after a worker gets hurt. That’s the biggest reason why safety signs are put up in such warehouses, as these warning signs can help mitigate legal damages.
But are you putting up your signs in the best location possible? David Arnold from Safety Sign Supplies’ blog talks about the phrase “sign blindness,” and measures a sign installer should follow when positioning health and safety signs in the warehouse.
According to Arnold, there are two types of sign blindness. Cluster sign blindness results when too many safety signs are positioned together in a warehouse entrance. Arnold lists a number of signs he saw during one warehouse visit as follows:
- High visibility jackets must be worn in this area sign
- Fire exit keep clear sign
- Forklifts operating warning sign
- Protective footwear must be worn mandatory sign
- Do not climb racking prohibition sign
- Caution Mind the step sign
- Head protection must be worn sign
Instead of having a large number of safety signs in a warehouse, Arnold suggests consolidating all the protective work wear signs into a single sign. Also, Arnold notes that the ‘Do not climb racking’ sign is unnecessary, as common sense signs need not be posted.
Also, it’s never a good idea to position fire exit signs near a cluster of other signs in a warehouse, as fire exit signs are designed to be read at a glance.
The other type of sign blindness Arnold talks about is familiarity sign blindness, which is much more difficult to avoid than cluster sign blindness. Familiarity sign blindness occurs when a worker sees a sign every day, and because they’re so familiar with the sign they choose to ignore its message.
Arnold suggests verbal reinforcement of the sign’s message and changing the design and look of the sign as ways of combating familiarity sign blindness.
Setting up a safe warehouse goes well beyond putting up your safety signs anywhere. Make sure to research and minimize sign blindness to enhance your worker’s awareness of your safety sign’s message.
Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.