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Men at Work Signs in Switzerland

Hospental, 28.VI.2003; pict. C. Vanhercke

Arosa, VII.2003; pict. P. Larvelle

Lausanne, 28.VII.2012; pict. H. De Meyer

Switzerland is synonymous to efficiency and the Alps are swept clean first thing every morning. It's therefore disturbing (and simultanously comforting) that different kinds of roadsigns are allowed to coexist.

One type features heaps which are round and slightly undulating. Another type shows more irregular heaps and there's also a make with more edgy heaps.

Roadsigns with a bent shaft are also found in Norway and Svalbard but men there hang on their tool with feet from the ground. Swiss workers keep their feet on the ground.

On all signs the worker transfers earth from one heap to the other. His labour won't do any good to the country's cleanness and in some other countries the meaningless activity would be considered torture — except when he's a landscape garden architect.


We have a scientific approach to the number of heaps in Argentina.
Visit Bahnhof Ost in Basel for a work of art inspired by the man-at-work sign.


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More roadsigns from Switzerland: Children's Crossing - Falling Rock Signs