Over the last ten years in NI, 34 people lost their lives in workplace transport incidents and 162 people were seriously injured. So, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) need a campaign to help cut those numbers.

The Ask

Our aim was to dial-up awareness in a way that would eventually drive down the number of accidents. And the message applied to a lot of workplaces. We’re talking about anywhere that uses vehicles or equipment that moves, from forklifts to HGVs.

The Challenge

One of our biggest roadblocks would be complacency among the audience. Nobody thinks these accidents will ever happen to them. How would we connect with that mindset? Or influence the culture in workplaces that often downplay the risks? On top of that, we had to reach two separate audiences. There were the business owners, who had a duty to keep employees safe, and the employees, who needed to look after themselves and workmates when they’re on the site or factory floor.

The Thinking

Our creative idea came from a universal truth. Everyone who’s worked with or around vehicles on the job has a “close call” story. It’s often shared as a bit of a laugh or a wild tale with the newbies, but we’re flipping the script. These near misses? They’re not just lucky breaks, they’re warnings. It’s about turning those bragging rights into a wake-up call, highlighting that the next near miss might not be a miss at all.

The Creative

We centred our campaign around the idea that “next time could be the last time.” Our AV and audio edits featured people talking about their close calls, but one of the stories didn’t have a happy ending. By highlighting real ‘near miss’ stories in a relatable way, we aimed to show that ignoring safety protocols or cutting corners isn’t just risky — it’s potentially fatal.

The Results

It’s too early for campaign results at the time of writing, but we hear it’s starting to make an impact. Initial feedback has been really positive and we’re seeing plenty of engagement and conversation about this important issue. It’ll take time to see the full effect on accident statistics, but here’s hoping they start to decrease very soon.