Workshop: Adopting a Systems-Based Approach to Accident Analysis and Prevention

Paul Salmon, Clare Dallat and I recently conducted a workshop for the Outdoor Recreation department at TAFE Western – Lithgow.

The aim of the workshop was to develop critical reflection skills for better understanding why accidents happen and developing appropriate countermeasures from a systems perspective.

We presented an overview of how the systems approach can help you to understand why accidents happen, using examples from other safety-critical domains such as aviation and emergency response. You can download the slides here: UPLOADS Lithgow TAFE Feb 2015.

We then ran a series of activities designed to develop the skills required to gather more information about accidents, and design more appropriate countermeasures. We’ve developed a series of interview questions for this purpose, and a criteria for evaluating countermeasure development.

Mic Rofe, the Course Coordinator, just sent us this amazing feedback:

I wanted to thank the team at University of Sunshine Coast Accident Research for running a workshop on Adopting a Systems-Based Approach to Accident Analysis and Prevention.

Following the workshop I have noticed a cultural shift in the way we look at and talk about  incidents.  Because most of our team were present we are now talking a common language.  Rather than looking for blame, we have been looking up and out to better understand the many factors that have contributed to the incident.  This has then helped us to better focus our efforts on improving our systems.

Some of the scenarios during the workshop were based on actual near misses and incidents from our workplace.  It was enlightening  to see how much more we learnt about the contributing factors by using the Accident Reaearch team’s interviewing/analysis tools.

 A number of our teachers commented that it had been one of the most valuable training sessions that they had attended.” 13th March 2015

Paul, Clare and I had an amazing day hearing from some of the most experienced outdoor educators in the field – so it was fantastic to get this feedback.

We’re running a similar session, which also covers risk management with ORIC at the end of March. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to run similar workshops in other States later in the year.




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