The systems approach differs from other accident approaches in a number of ways.

However, the key points are, firstly, that human error is seen as the outcome of an incident, rather than the cause of incidents. This is in contrast to person-based approaches which focus on who made the error rather than why.

Second, the systems approach is interested in how the interactions between parts of the system lead to errors. For example, how an inadequate training program and limited availability of equipment might interact to shape an instructors performance in a way that leads to an incident. This is in contrast to approaches that focus on the “hunt for the broken component” – such as Root Cause Analysis. Here the focus is on the instructor and their flawed performance in terms of what it was, not on the factors that interacted to create the flawed performance.

Overall, the person approaches and other approaches which focus on component failures discourage reporting because they focus on blame, and fail to address the underlying, system-wide causes of incidents.

Upcoming Events
  • 2019 ASICS SMA Conference October 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Novotel Twin Waters Resort (270 Ocean Drive, Twin Waters, Sunshine Coast Queensland, Australia) Injury Epidemiology Paper Presentation: A systems-based incident reporting system for understanding and preventing injury in outdoor recreation.
  • Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) October 30, 2019 – November 1, 2019 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • UPLOADS PrIMe Webinar November 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Join us for a free webinar where you will learn how to use PrIMe to translate the data collected through the UPLOADS App into incident prevention strategies.

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