Episode Summary

Welcome back to the Safety of Work podcast. Today, we discuss whether safety communication campaigns reduce injuries.

Episode Notes

We dig into how safety promotion is used and its effectiveness within an organization. Often, safety communication is about large-scale behaviors and societal problems. So, we found a paper that focused on workplace safety, which was hard to find. The Effects of an Informational Safety Campaign in the Shipbuilding Industry helps us frame our conversation about the efficacy of safety communication and injury reduction.

Tune in to join the conversation!


  • What we mean by “safety communication campaigns”.
  • Surveying the efficacy of communication campaigns.
  • ‘70s-era seat belt campaigns.
  • ‘80s-era home safety campaigns.
  • The conclusions from the communication campaign studies.
  • What makes a communication campaign successful.
  • Why the best safety research is often outside the workplace.
  • Message retention rates.
  • Practical takeaways.


“It doesn’t have to be a poster, it could be broadcast communications, video clips, stuff on a website, even a podcast. But it’s a verbal or written message from the organization…” 

“Most of this research is conducted on very large scale behaviors, which are things that people generally agree are bad behaviors. So, many of the campaigns that are most effective and are being studied are to do with things like drink driving or cigarette smoking.”

“There could well be some more diffuse, more long-term effect here on the climate that our measurements just aren’t capturing…”


Saarela, K. L., Saari, J., & Aaltonen, M. (1989). The effects of an informational safety campaign in the shipbuilding industryJournal of Occupational Accidents10(4), 255-266.