A Practitioner’s Call to Action

Time to confront the bear in outdoor program safety; aligning what we now know with what we’re currently doing.

by claredallat

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“Curriculum development, and our collective approach to facilitating learning in the outdoors has evolved significantly in the past few decades. However, in my opinion, the same cannot be said about how we manage risk. If we are honest, we’ll see that we are still teaching, promoting and defending positions relating to predicting and managing risk that were developed and advocated several decades ago. We still largely and wholeheartedly, hold onto the perspective that a well-trained individual, the instructor, is the determining factor in the safety outcomes of a program or activity.

For us, as outdoor education managers and leaders, our questions and intentions following an incident should not be to find out, why on earth our staff did what they did, but rather attempt to understand, why did it make sense for them at that time, to do what they did”.

Are we now willing, as a profession, to consider entering into alternative dialogues in relation to how we choose to understand accidents, and identify sources of risk in our work”?


The attached article provides an alternative and insightful perspective to identifying and managing sources of risk in a way that aligns with what the wider field of safety science now understands about how and why accidents happen. Using learnings from safety-critical domains such as aviation, healthcare and transportation, the author offers practical and implementable strategies for those involved in  the design, planning and implementation of outdoor education and recreation experiences.

Download article here and feel free to share amongst colleagues and friends.

Clare-Dallat-2017-Time-to-confront-the-bear-in-Outdoor-Progam-Safety.pdf


Clare has over twenty years of field and management experience in facilitated outdoor experiences, and is currently completing her PhD in Human Factors (risk assessment) at the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, The University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia (www.hf-sts.com). She is the Head of Innovation at The Outdoor Education Group.(www.oeg.org.au).cd-blog


Posted in Systems thinking

Your latest National Incident Dataset Report

It’s that time again!

The UPLOADS Project team is excited to present the latest National Incident Dataset Annual Report. This report follows the same structure you know and love, and presents the injury, illness, and near miss data that was collected over the past year (June 2015-May 2016).

To aid in the distribution of the report’s findings, we present this report to you in four complimentary formats this year.

Read the full standard report HERE

Need the quick and simple version? Find a summary of the full report HERE

Don’t feel like reading? Watch a brief overview of the report HERE

Or to get it all at a glance, view an infographic poster HERE

This project was supported by funding from the Australia Research Council (LP150100287) in partnership with our wonderful industry partners.

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We would like to acknowledge the sector’s critical role in producing the UPLOADS National Incident Dataset.

This dataset represents a huge contribution of time and effort from the organisations involved, both in terms of data collection and maintaining the quality of the reports. We would like to thank those organisations and our funding partners. We would also like to urge others to contribute data in future. A larger sample size would allow for more firm conclusions to be drawn regarding the management of risk within the sector and the selection of appropriate targets for prevention strategies.

If you have any questions about this report or would like to contribute to the UPLOADS National Incident Dataset please contact Dr Amanda Clacy by email at aclacy@usc.edu.au or by phone +617 5456 5904.

Posted in News, Outputs, UPLOADS

ORIC (Outdoors NSW) Practitioner’s Conference 2016

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The UPLOADS team recently attended the ORIC practitioner’s conference at Camp Wombaroo in the NSW highlands.

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The conference kicked off with a pre-conference workshop hosted by the UPLOADS team. The aim of this workshop was to provide practical guidance on injury prevention in the delivery of led outdoor activity programs. Specifically, we engaged practitioners in a discussion about injury causation and prevention, and to support practitioners in translating the UPLOADS research in practice. This also involved a sneak peak of the new UPLOADS National Incident Dataset statistics. Thank you to everyone who engaged with us during this workshop! I think we all walked away from the workshop feeling inspired and motivated!

“It became apparent very quickly that this wasn’t going to be just another run-of-the-mill conference…”

Dr Mandi Baker‘s opening keynote raised some big questions about what makes a good leader? Can soft skills be taught? How important is “fun” the led outdoors? It became apparent very quickly that this wasn’t going to be just another run-of-the-mill conference as many of the delegates offered points of discussion from their real, experience-driven points of view.

In the session workshop presented by Dr Amanda Clacy, there was a similar response from the delegates. After opening the session with some of the new data from the National Incident Dataset, practitioners were quick to engage in an open conversation about the current constraints in the reporting culture in the led outdoors. The group also came to discuss the importance of reporting rich and consistent information to be able to better understand the factors leading to incidents and to develop appropriate prevention strategies to be able to reduce future risk.

With a strong sense of ‘By the People, For the People’, it was clear the ‘outdoor edder’ community was ready and willing to ask the difficult questions, learn the much needed lessons, and grow together as a sector.

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On the final day of the conference we were very fortunate to be provided with a stand out keynote presentation from an exceptional ‘outdoor edder’, Clare Dallat. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after the humorous, moving, and honest presentation in which Clare encouraged us all to look beyond some long-held assumptions and beliefs with the aim of better serving the people in our care by becoming the very best versions of ourselves. Through sharing her own story of evolving over almost 15 years, Clare imparted 10 valuable lessons to us all:

  1. It doesn’t always take a raging river or a wild weather event for an accident to occur.

  2. Risk management is not a science.

  3. Engaging in conversation has far surpassed any course or degree I’ve taken in terms of return on investment.

  4. There are many second victims. Be kind. Reach out.

  5. Be human. Be accountable. Be brave. Change.

  6. Change comes from within but a group of people will make it happen.

  7. No-one wakes up and says “Today is a great day to f*%k things up”.

  8. What we do is complex.

  9. Don’t run. Hold on. Use the energy to grow, to listen and to make it better.

  10. Don’t forget. Give it meaning.

Please contact Clare  if you would like to hear more about her presentation or the lessons she relayed.

There were so many relevant, practical, and informative workshops delivered by the experts in their field. This is what made this conference so outstanding. Over the 3 days we spent at Camp Wombaroo at this practitioner’s conference, I became more and inspired by the work our ‘outdoor edders’ do. This genuinely is a tribe of people who are determined and willing to really develop their community.

Thanks to Liz Horne, Mark Brackenreg, and ORIC (Outdoors NSW) for organising such an inspiring conference. I truly look forward to meeting with you all again in the future!

 

Posted in Events, News, UPLOADS

Join us in High Range!

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From the 21st to the 23rd of October the UPLOADS team will be heading to NSW to the Outdoor Practitioners Conference, hosted by ORIC.

On Friday the 21st of October, the UPLOADS team will be hosting a workshop which will use case studies and learning-from-systems based incident investigation to give practical insights on incident prevention. Lessons learned from specific case studies will help practitioners to make a genuine contribution to preventing future incidents.

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Field staff, program managers, and regulators will all gain something from this data driven workshop. It will be great to see as many of you there as possible!

REGISTER HERE


Conference registration is also now open, and the Outdoor Partitioner’s Conference is calling for presenters. The intent of this conference is that it be the premier professional development and networking opportunity for any practitioner working in the outdoors. The vision is that sessions be valuable learning opportunities for front line practitioners delivering outdoor experiences.

Whether based on hard skills, facilitation and soft skill development, or shared learning regarding contemporary issues, we are looking for workshops and scenarios which are practical and relevant.

Image result for we need youTo complete an application to present

PRESENTER

To register for the conference

DELEGATE

We encourage everyone from the led outdoor activity and outdoor education sector to get involved in this valuable learning and sharing opportunity!

Posted in Events, UPLOADS

UPLOADS impresses the northern hemisphere


The Northern Hemisphere summer is typically known as “conference season” and is the opportunity for academic research to be shared, discussed, challenged and ultimately, improved. This year, Paul Salmon and Clare Dallat headed north to present at both the 7th International Outdoor Education Research Conference, hosted by Cape Breton University, Canada; followed by the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference, in Orlando, Florida.


At the International Outdoor Education Research conference, Canada, the UPLOADS project was well received. Clare presented an overview of the design of her PhD risk assessment method, NO-HARMS (National Outdoor Hazard Assessment and Risk Management System), which uses several human factors methods to first understand the tasks involved in the design, planning, delivery and review of a led outdoor program and then secondly, to identify and assess the network of foreseeable risks involved.

Paul presented the results of the first 12 months UPLOADS study. The findings generated excellent discussion amongst international colleagues, including for example, why 16 year old females presented as the most frequently injured demographic and why activities such as walking/running outdoors and campcraft had the highest incidence rates.campcraft.jpg

Our fellow delegates impressed upon us that the project’s researchers, sponsors, and the Australian led outdoor activity sector had achieved something very unique together in the creation of the UPLOADS project. In fact, many doubted that such a partnership could be achieved in their home countries.

 The IOER conference was a great platform for us to share our research with our international colleagues. It concluded very favourably for Australia, and for the University of the Sunshine Coast in particular, with the announcement that the next conference will take place on our home campus in 2018. Well done to Glyn Thomas for achieving this excellent honour!

Whilst at the IOER conference, we connected with a true legend in the outdoors within North America, TA Loeffler. TA kindly offered us a quick lesson on how to pronounce the name of the eastern most Canadian province correctly, as Memorial University, Newfoundland (“understand Newfoundland”) was the next stop on our tour. Upon our arrival, Clare felt very much at home surrounded by the local accent which closely resembled a thick Irish brogue. While at Memorial University we presented the UPLOADS project and its findings to various research groups and provided an open seminar for the general university community. Once again the project was received with positive enthusiasm, generating many thought provoking discussions.

TA is a professor within the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University and kindly showed us around the university including one of their abseil sites; a beautiful coastal crag abutting the Atlantic Ocean. It was on this day that we spotted our first iceberg!

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Iceberg spotting with TA Loefller.

An absolute highlight from our time in Newfoundland was the opportunity to discuss future collaborations with teams such as the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC).

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Excitingly, this also included a day trip to their purpose built offshore safety and emergency response training course, which was equipped with a large survival tank, state of the art helicopter underwater escape trainer, fire grounds, helicopter simulators and world class instructors.  We look forward to opportunities to share and collaborate further in the future.  

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Heading Stateside with UPLOADS

On our way south, we took the opportunity to visit Clare’s old stomping ground, Frost Valley YMCA, while it was right in the throes of Summer Camp. Some 30,000 participants attend annually, and when the summer months are over, is also a year-round environmental education centre. Here, we met with staff and were able to see for ourselves how risk was managed at one of the largest outdoor and environmental centres in North America. Again, UPLOADS was of major interest.

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While in the states, we also took the opportunity to visit and collaborate with Preston Cline. Preston first came to Australia to conduct risk management audits and provide training based on his vast risk and educational knowledge. It was wonderful to catch up with Preston, a man who has made a huge contribution to stretching the status quo in led outdoor activity risk management.

After reaching our final destination at Disney World, Florida, we joined almost 2000 delegates at the Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics conference. The AHFE conference is a respected international forum for the dissemination and exchange of information on theoretical, generic, and applied areas of human factors and ergonomics.

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Paul and Clare gave a half-day tutorial in accident analysis methods to delegates from all over the world, from backgrounds such as airline pilots and crash investigators, nuclear decommissioning and clean up experts, healthcare managers and WHS professors. UPLOADS, NO-HARMS and a paper written by PhD candidate, Tony Carden on better understanding the complexity associated with safety in the led outdoor activity sector, were also presented.

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After four long weeks on the road and way too many Holiday Inn garden omelettes, we came away with great ideas, valued feedback and with many wonderful opportunities for further collaboration.

The trip provided valuable insights into both research and practice – a vital component for achieving success in any project. With renewed energy and a true belief in the value of a project that commenced several years ago from the ground up, we look forward to growing the UPLOADS project even more.

Written by Clare Dallat

Posted in News, Outputs, UPLOADS

UPLOADS First Key Issue Report: CAMPCRAFT

Everyone,

We are pleased to present our first Key Issue Report: Campcraft. Campcraft-related injuries, near misses and illnesses emerged within the UPLOADS first 12-month dataset as frequently occurring incidents with potentially severe outcomes. The aims of this report are:

  1. to present the findings from an analysis of the campcraft-related incident data contributed to the UPLOADS National Incident Dataset in the period between the 1st of June 2014 and 31st May 2015;
  2. to provide a holistic and in-depth understanding of the campcraft-related incidents; and
  3. to promote discussion within the sector regarding potential prevention strategies and countermeasures.

Please click here to download the report

The UPLOADS project is a major collaboration between the Australian led outdoor activity sector, the University of the Sunshine Coast, and Federation University. The ultimate aim is to better understand and prevent incidents that occur during led outdoor activities.

We would like to acknowledge the sector’s critical role in producing the dataset described in this report. Without the continued involvement of the sector, it is not possible for UPLOADS to produce any meaningful analyses. We would like to thank our funding partners and also those who went above and beyond the call to contribute incident data to the UPLOADS Project. We greatly appreciate your support! We would also like to thank all those who provided feedback on the draft – your comments and suggestions were greatly appreciated. We have endeavored to address all of them.

If you have any questions about the campcraft report or would like to talk to the UPLOADS team, please do not hesitate to contact Amanda Clacy (aclacy@usc.edu.au), Paul Salmon (psalmon@usc.edu.au), or myself (mvanmulk@usc.edu.au).

Cheers!

Posted in Outputs, Systems thinking, UPLOADS

On the road with UPLOADS

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The UPLOADS Project team hit the road last week, facilitating a workshop for The Outdoor Education Group and attending the Outdoors Victoria H2R Conference.

The workshop was a great success! Professor Paul Salmon and Clare Dallat gave an engaging presentation on systems thinking, demonstrating the importance and significance of bridging the research-practice gap in led outdoor activities. This was the first time this workshop was presented, giving workshop participants the chance to apply the systems approach to more than just accidents. A big thanks to The Outdoor Education Group for hosting this workshop, and to everyone who participated! VicWorkshop1

If you would like to organise a workshop for your organisation, please contact Paul Salmon (psalmon@usc.edu.au) or Amanda Clacy (aclacy@usc.edu.au).

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Our next stop was the Outdoors Victoria H2R Catalyst Conference at Federation University in Ballarat. The UPLOADS Project team and our PhD students all gave presentations throughout this conference and were very grateful for the opportunity to connect with active members of the sector.

In case you missed it, follow the links below for a short summary of some of the UPLOADS presentations.

Outdoors Victoria did a great job hosting this catalyst event! Thank you for the chance to be involved!

Conference and workshop opportunities are a vital part of the UPLOADS Project. Not only does it give our research team a chance to break away from behind their computers and discuss the project and face-to-face with our key stakeholders, they also present invaluable opportunities for us to present updates on the project, provide a casual platform for Q&A, and also give us a chance to attend other presentations to remain engaged with the sector and trials and tribulations you all face in your work.

As always, if you would like to contact the UPLOADS team you can email us at uploadsproject@usc.edu.au with any questions, queries, or comments you have. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Until next time, stay safe!

p.s. click here to read our latest newsletter!

Posted in Uncategorized
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