Safety messages targeted at tradies

By Michael Blumberg*
Friday, 13 September, 2019 | Supplied by: Target Tradies


‘Target Tradies’ has reached a new milestone through its support of Cancer Council Australia (CCA) and Black Dog Institute (BDI) and their efforts to convey health and safety messages to tradies. The pro bono production installation and media space provided to both organisations, which included placing specific messaging posters on more than 600 sites across Australia each month, has now surpassed $1 million combined value over a 12-month period.

Unique platform for reaching tradies

Regular updates to posters and messaging is key to keeping efficacy high. Target Tradies’ fully certified installers spend no more than 15 minutes onsite and are familiar with construction site environments to minimise disruptions to ongoing operations. Target Tradies’ media is placed within construction sites, specifically in dwell spaces. Here, tradies have the opportunity to read messages and hopefully act on them.

The initiative is funded through Target Tradies’ commercial model, where government, institutions and education as well as commercial brands can buy media space to get their messages directly in front of the tradies. The commercial model allows Target Tradies to drive its CSR program and benefit charitable organisations such as CCA and BDI.

As the issue of safety on construction sites continues to become more mainstream, the work that Target Tradies does through its site visitation model offers construction companies further ways of engaging and communicating with their workers, beyond their internal programs.

Cancer Council Australia

Cancer Council particularly needed to reach tradies who work outdoors, who receive 5 to 10 times more ultraviolet (UV) radiation than indoor workers. CCA’s campaign focused on, among other health and safety messages, the importance of being SunSmart at work and to remind tradies to take simple steps to reduce their skin cancer risk.

“We are truly grateful for the support Target Tradies has provided us. During the past 12 months we have been able to reach tradies directly with messaging around UV protection, promoting a healthy diet, as well workplace issues like diesel fumes and dust. This unique and uncomplicated method delivers messages directly to our ‘target’ audience — while they are on the job,” said Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia.

Target Tradies poster for the Cancer Council.

Black Dog Institute

Black Dog Institute — which provides support to those with depression and other mental health issues — wanted to reach tradies, including construction workers who have a higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, compared with other types of work.

“As a medical research institute, one of our major goals is to reach the 60% of people that do not seek help for depression, anxiety and suicide risk. Target Tradies gives us an opportunity to work towards this by driving awareness and support in the construction industry where the stigma attached to mental health thrives. We’ve developed specific materials to address this and educate workers to recognise the signs when help is needed and where to get it. It’s a unique and highly targeted channel for us,” said Fiona Treweeke, Head of Marketing at Black Dog Institute.

Target Tradies poster for the Black Dog Institute.

Support from Ausco Modular

The success of both campaigns has been enabled by Ausco Modular, a company specialising in modular space, which has provided a vehicle for the safety messaging, through its portable buildings.

Ausco Modular clearly has a long-term commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all workers on construction sites across Australia. They have enabled Target Tradies to place workplace safety messaging in their modular buildings, which include lunchrooms, washrooms, site offices and places where tradies check in and check out, or enjoy break time. It is here where the messages can be absorbed and processed. Ausco Modular’s ongoing support has been invaluable to our corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

Reactions so far

Site managers understand the need for a refreshment of the message each month, and they are always interested in what the new message will be, which gives some indication that the messages are being read and absorbed by the tradies on their site.

It can be difficult to quantify the reactions from tradies themselves, because the Target Tradies installation crew spends minimal time onsite, so as not to disrupt busy worksites. However, the supportive and positive reaction from site managers is a strong indicator that engagement onsite is high.

Additionally, Target Tradies is seeing strong social media growth in parallel with its poster campaigns — including more than 4500 Facebook followers in the first 12 months — as tradies look to engage outside of work hours, where they have more time to look at messages and absorb relevant video content, too.

*Michael Blumberg is Founder and Director at Target Tradies.

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