The case wasn't brought because there wasn't a warning, but because of the number and positioning of the warnings. The judge noted that whilst there was a warning sticker on the door, it was "jumbled" around other notices. "The signage around the window was confusing," he added. In short, this was a freak accident, but one that could have been avoided with better signage.
One look at the photo shows the patchwork of warnings and instructions over the door. There's a lot wrong with them, not least:
- There are six in stickers in total, all different sizes and colours and positioned differently. You may even initially miss the two directly above the door.
- The one on the right has a clear "no entry" icon and says not to use the door as an emergency exit. Call me old fashioned, but I'd say a door is a pretty good exit point in an emergency.
- The sticker to the left of the "no entry" icon has three separate pieces of information and is poorly situated. A user's eye is drawn top to bottom and left to right. The positioning of all the labels does little to help the user see what's important.
- The yellow one on the left is labeled "Emergency ventilation", which gives the impression that it's OK to open the window. Only the smaller text stipulates not to stick your head outside. Trouble is you may have to, to reach the door handle on the outside. Admittedly one of the other labels has instructions on opening the door, and does say to wait until the train is stationary, but that information is in the wrong place when reading the yellow label.