Throughout July 2020, the NSW Resources Regulator, in collaboration with NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council member organisations, conducted a media campaign to increase awareness of dust-related risks and prevention among NSW mine workers, especially those undertaking activities with an increased risk of dust exposure.
The campaign used a range of resources and communication methods targeting mine workers and supervisors to ensure engagement with the campaign material by as wide an audience as possible.
This report presents the results of the Resources Regulator’s evaluation of the campaign, including key findings regarding the effectiveness of such campaigns to increase awareness of dust-related risks in mineworkers and supervisors, and promote the implementation of changes in their workplaces.
Overall, after being exposed to the campaign and engaging with the materials in the Dust Toolkit, NSW mining workers reported improved dust safety knowledge and increased likelihood to improve safety practices in their workplace.
The evaluation of the MSAC Dust Safety Awareness campaign found:
- Promotional work is undertaken by Resources Regulator inspectors when visiting mine and quarry sites and the Resources Regulator’s website were the top two ways survey participants became aware of the campaign and Dust Toolkit.
- Despite extensive reach on social media, only four survey participants became aware of the campaign via this promotional channel.
- Promotion of the campaign, while extensive, did not reach as many mining workers in NSW as intended – with 7% of the 125 NSW survey participants saying that they were unaware of the campaign prior to completing the survey. This may be because of the short campaign period, but the choice of promotional channels may also have played a role.
- All sectors and role types were reached through campaign evaluation promotional work, including workers who undertake jobs with an increased likelihood of dust exposure who represented 65% of survey participants. However, participants from the underground extractives and surface metalliferous sectors were poorly represented (5 and 2% respectively), as were contractors outside the surface coal sector who represented just 2% of participants.
- Videos, posters and fact sheets were the most popular items in the Dust Toolkit, with strong support among survey participants for more videos and/or animations (similar to the Resources Regulator’s Learning from investigations animations) about dust safety.
- After exposure to the campaign, 88% of survey participants reported their levels of knowledge on dust safety as being knowledgeable to very knowledgeable, with 40% of participants indicating their dust safety knowledge had improved.
- After experiencing the campaign, 86% of survey participants indicated they intended to make changes in their workplaces to improve dust safety.
- A limited number of survey participants (n=5) indicated that they wanted to see more unannounced inspections by the Resources Regulator in relation to dust exposure controls.
- A very small number of survey participants (n=2) found the Dust Toolkit content was too focused on the coal sector and supported content that provided sector and role-specific guidance – particularly covering practical guidance on managing dust hazards in everyday tasks.
Read the report
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