The focus on evidence-based practice is critical to addressing the issue of injuries, yet advances in the science of injury prevention have not always led to advances in practice. Effective approaches are not always adopted, or when adopted and transferred from one setting to another, they do not always achieve expected results. These challenges were the basis of two breakout sessions at the second European Injury Control and Safety Promotion Conference in Paris, France (October 2008). In summarising the key issues raised during those sessions, this article describes what is meant by evidence-based practice, discusses why evidence-based practice tends not to occur and considers approaches that may facilitate the adoption and implementation of evidence-based strategies. To address the challenge, specific action is required, both on the part of the research community and those responsible for developing and implementing injury prevention policies and programmes.