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Safety Say What

Title translated into English

Safety Say What

Website URL (http:// or https://)


For your consideration we’re submitting the Safety Say What ( website – an empowering and informational website that teaches young workers within Ontario, Canada their rights and how to stand up for them. This website is part of a digital marketing awareness and educational campaign and acts as a hub of information that young workers (i.e. Generation Z) can visit to learn about their rights, how to advocate for themselves and to access resources to enable better workplace safety.

Based on a deep research process (see next section for further details) it was determined that language and overall design needed to do the following:

  • Be delivered in a fun, informative and approachable way
  • Content had to be displayed in shorter doses of information to be more easily be absorbed
  • Mobile friendly
  • Be ethnically and gender diverse

The final site met these requirements and focused on delivering messages through bold eye-catching statements in addition to concise educational pieces. As well, the overall campaign and website featured characters of various ethnicities, genders and backgrounds to reflect Ontario’s audience. 

Finally, research showed that Generation Z was a socially active generation, that were more motivated to advocate for things they believed in. So it was ensured that the website featured resources that could be easily printed and hung in the workplace.


To determine the best approach to the campaign messaging, a multi-month research process was employed to better understand the target demographics (Generation Z, ages 16-22 within Ontario) behaviours, understanding of safety and preferences for dissemination of information. Leveraging multiple research techniques (market research, focus groups, etc), the team identified a key tension point: young workers were often educated on safety, but lacked confidence to stand up for their rights.

Research also revealed that while ‘shock’ or ‘horror’-style safety content did help with message retention, but it also could have long-lasting negative effects (e.g. nightmares). As well, Generation Z was found to be resistant to messages that were not directly relevant to their lives, and traditional health and safety education tended to be out-of-date and unrelatable.

Thus, pulling from real-life examples the campaign focused on the unreasonable requests that may be heard in the workplace to grab the audience’s attention and make it relevant to their unique situations.  Borrowing from the expression ‘...say what!?’, the Safety Say What campaign and website was born. The campaign and website prominently featured the tagline ‘If it raises an eyebrow, raise your concern’, while the website featured visual representations of the ‘raised eyebrow’ and quotes that were inspired real-life examples. Consistently, throughout the website, the message is clear: trust your instincts and raise concerns.

Leveraging social media ads, accounts and influencer partnerships, the campaign performed beyond expectations and is currently in its second year. In the first year the total campaign reached approx. 1/3 of 16-22 year olds in Ontario with a total of 1.8 million of target audience reached through ads alone. Overall, the website garnered over 76,000 visits in the first year of the campaign and continues to reach young workers across Ontario.

As for the message, it resonated well with young workers. The style of message sparked conversation and online debate on safety. As well, it inspired young workers to share the message with their friends (via online tagging) and even calling out organizations that they had safety issues with in the past.


Within Ontario, Canada, young workers are one-third more likely to get injured than workers over the age of 25 and lose an average of 13 days of work when injured. Despite previous efforts within the province to improve in this area, educational/awareness efforts had limited impact. Thus, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS) partnered with Gene Global Inc. (Gene) to launch an awareness/education campaign in 2018 called Safety Say What. Based on first year success (campaign ended in 2019), the program received additional funding, and  continues today.

Target Group

Young workers in Ontario, Canada (ages 16-22)


Awareness Campaign



Contact details Editor / Production company

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
5110 Creekbank Rd, ca-L4W 0A1 Mississauga
1-905-614-2138905 614 1414