Common, everyday errors occurring within high risk industries can sometimes have disastrous results. While it is always important to understand the error that was made, it is often the case that these errors are not new, unique or the result of something previously unidentified. The same is true of latent risks that are hidden in the system and combine with errors, or are themselves an error producing condition. So what is the best way to identify some of these latent risks and error potentials both before and after an accident?
Even before an accident occurs, it is possible to learn about where the weak points in the system are. While regular audits will often uncover issues, a pre-emptive search for latent accidents risks is focussed on using the expertise of those doing the job to uncover sources of error and violation. This approach can work without any kind of lead event, just by exploring your most critical tasks and the error potential that exists in their execution. Equally, it can be used to explore trends, such as an increase in minor events, near misses or violations in the workplace.
Of course not every accident can be avoided, and despite the best safety systems, intentions and processes, incidents and accidents still occur. When this happens, it’s important to ensure that the incident or accident is investigated with a view to identifying the human and organisational factors that contributed.
The Keil Centre has extensive experience in investigation, including investigation training with HFAT®: Human Factors Analysis Tools, cognitive interview techniques training and using investigation techniques pre-emptively to identify issues. We are also available to assist with initial and on-going investigations. For further information on how to effectively identify human and organisational factors both before and after an accident contact:
Our UK team: Email enquiries or call +44 (0) 131 229 6140