Mystery solved - we now know the back story of those weird yellow cutouts on the side of South East Queensland highways.
They've been on the side of the Gateway at Nudgee for a few years, and there are plenty of times we've been wondering what they are.. but now that they've turned up on the M1 at Eight Mile Plains, our curiosity has piqued.
It turns out the little yellow men and women are a safety movement created by civil construction firm Fulton Hogan, and now being taken up by several other firms across the South East.
Project Director Brad Thompson explains -
"We had some sensitive ground monitoring equipment that we needed to protect. We would just use flagging but that kept getting knocked over so one of our lads came up with the idea of having a person stand at the sensitive receivers"
The idea is that the little figurines act as a markers where special underground testing equipment is being used. It's believed the markers tap into the psychology of construction workers and the likes of truck drivers, as a way to get them thinking of the equipment in the same way as a person being on site.
"For the first project [Fulton Hogan managed], we actually assigned a name to each of the yellow men on site. On the occasion that one of the yellow men got knocked over, the person who knocked over the yellow man had to go and actually apologise to the real person whose name was assigned to that yellow man. It just gives a psychological link between working on a construction site and the dangers that our workers face in terms of contact with heavy machinery"
The Nudgee figurines, which were originally put in place back in 2015 by Fulton Hogan, have cut back on the amount of on-site safety equipment damages.
"We saw a marked reduction and we've now even taken the initiative further and used them on another project using what we call 'the pointy man' who has one of his arms pointing up into the sky to identify overhead services"