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Men at Work signs in Belgium

The Belgian Workforce analysed

Energy Level 0
subject arrives at site without any tools, then contemplates the heaps.
Energy Level 1
subject has shovel ready, but avoids back ache at all costs
Energy Level 2
subject realizes that some light exercise could be healthy

Energy Level 3
subject really working
prefers the safe top-down method.
Energy Level 4
subject really digging,
vigorously attacks the heap
Energy Level 5
Expected to exist on reasons of symmetry

We expect similarities
with the work man from


Steenkerke, 1993

The official Belgian road side worker. The man is nothing less than omnipresent. He works on clogs.

Thanks to the queues which are more common every day, we have all the time to enjoy the fine detail in the panels.

Gent, 1993

The helmet is the most sought after Belgian road worker. When one of our restless team members reported this one for the first time, she recorded only disbelief. Afterwards we were lucky to spot this workman with hard hat three more times.

Notice the elegant shoes and how he tackles the heap using a bottom-up strategy. Probably a fore-man fresh from a training course and eager to apply new techniques.

Gent, 2001

1830 - The founders of Belgium show­ed William with all his Dutch­men the door.
2001 - Orange in more than one sneaky way step by step recovers the goods.

This fresh import from The Netherlands means disaster for the diverse Belgian work-force (and for road-sign collectors). Our samples show very nice designs, but soon enough the flat icon will overrule our sweet clogged grand-pa. If there is a choice, people always choose for face-less mediocrity. What will go next? Belgian beer?


Herentals, XII.2005; pict. B. Hoeyberghs

Our latest samples seem to indicate that the Belgian worker's population is in full swing. Unfamiliar workmen cross our path regularly and we're therefore forced to keep our spotters on the move.

The find from Herentals is peculiar because the warning triangle is inte­grated in a rectangle. Though it is common in several other countries (e.g. Jordan, Turkey), I've never seen this before in Belgium.

The man comes straight from Denmark. He's drawn a trifle more shoddy certainly in the upper parts.

Hoboken, II.2007; pict. B. Hoeyberghs

The man from Hoboken suffers from burn-out. Because we have another case documented in China, it could be a global problem (everything is nowadays).

But why always think the worst? He is perhaps only looking down because something in the heap — or a smud­ge on his shoe — caught his attention.


Drongen, VII.1998

The most common sign and its mirror found together at one spot. The mirrored panel is very rarely seen.

Waregem, 25.X.2007; pict. M.Tailly
Lier, 16.V.2009; pict. B. Hoeyberghs
Contrary to what I hoped for after the finds from Hoboken and Herentals the situation in Belgium is next to disas­trous. First we had to tackle the Dutch invasion (2001) and now we have to swallow the Germans. Both German workers were already reported from Luxembourg. What will be the next country to fall?
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More roadsigns from Belgium: Children's Crossing Signs - Falling Rock Signs