Effectiveness of prevention-focused, workplace health and safety campaigns

Sharon Newnam, Carlyn Muir

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


Purpose The aim of this review was to better understand the effectiveness of mass media health and safety campaigns, nationally and internationally, in shifting health and safety attitudes, knowledge and behaviour. WorkSafe was particularly interested in prevention-focused population-level mass media campaigns and whether they were effective in changing attitudes, improving knowledge and changing target behaviour within the community. Rationale WorkSafe are developing a media communications strategy for 2015. Their mass media campaigns aim to raise awareness in the community and change behaviour. The specific focus of the next campaign (ie injury, industry etc) will be determined in early 2015. WorkSafe would like to ensure that they can refer to robust evidence on successful (or otherwise) campaigns from alternative jurisdictions in order to inform their strategy. Findings Twelve systematic reviews and four industry/government reports were included in this report. All of the systematic reviews focused on health behaviours and the four reports identified in the grey literature focused on OH&S. Summaries have been provided of the effectiveness of campaign strategies in the review articles and grey literature reports. Interpretation of the results of the review articles and grey literature reports was challenging given the quality of reporting. Given the limitations in the data, we explored the health promotion literature to provide some guidance to the WorkSafe in the development of their media communication strategy for 2015. Conclusions The findings from this review along with the evidence from the broader health promotion literature aim to guide WorkSafe in the development of their media communications strategy in 2015. As noted in this report, WorkSafe need to consider a wide range of factors in the development of their communications strategy, ranging from identifying an appropriate target behaviour, population, type of media and campaign to an evaluation framework to measure success. The evidence suggest that consideration of each of these issues is likely to result in a successful media communications strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherInstitute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR)
Commissioning bodyInstitute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR)
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • workplace health
  • prevention
  • media campaigns

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