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Objectives Since 1987, the Harstad community in Norway has run an injury prevention program according to the Safe Community approach. The effectiveness of this approach in reducing injury rates is poorly documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the Harstad program on the incidence of injuries. Methods We used data from the National Injury register of Norway and compared age-adjusted incidence rates and standardized rate ratios of injuries in Harstad and three control communities for the period 1992-1997. Results Harstad had the second highest rates for both all injuries and fractures. No reduction in the incidence of injuries in Harstad was observed from 1992-1997. The injury rates in 1992-1997 were similar to the rates recorded in 1985/86. Conclusions The injury prevention program in Harstad has not reduced overall injury rates. The Safe Community concept is an organizational strategy, but implementation of proven and targeted risk reduction measures will be needed if community-based programs are to result in risk reductions.