Safety campaign titled ‘Oh sh*t’ announced by Tassie govt

by Astrid Wilson07 Sep 2012

Aptly named OH S…, the Tassie IR minister has said the name of its new campaign reflects the gut reaction of someone faced with a workplace accident.

It’s a move aimed at cutting through the yawn-reaction many workers may have upon hearing of new safety laws – and indeed the campaign is aimed at encouraging businesses to prepare for new Work Health and Safety laws. “This campaign uses that first reactionary moment to try and promote how workplaces can be proactive on work health and safety,” Tasmania Minister for Industrial Relations, David O’Byrne said.

Acknowledging the tough-crowd, O’Byrne said the government recognised that bland advertising often fails to capture people’s attention. “This campaign takes a more irreverent approach to get the message across effectively…”

Yet it’s not the first time a government has used colourful language to try and drum up some interest in its initiatives. The campaign is reminiscent of the recent launch of controversial road safety signs in South Australia (pictured). The campaign visually implies words that more closely reflect the everyday language of its target audience on prominently displayed billboards.

Despite some backlash from a noisy independent MP, road safety minister Jennifer Rankine said the state would keep the signs. “Prior research showed that campaigns using humour and regional residents using ‘real’ language would be well received by the target audience,” Rankine said in a statement.

Businesses within Tasmania can find out more about how the new model work health and safety legislation might affect them at free information sessions being held across the state during WorkSafe Tasmania Month, which runs from 1 October until 2 November.

Tasmania, along with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, has yet to harmonise its WHS laws with the rest of the country.


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