A Test of a Systems Theory-Based Incident Coding Taxonomy for Risk Managers
Authors: Natassia Goode, Paul M. Salmon, Michael G. Lenné, Caroline F. Finch
Abstract: Organizations need to be able to collect reliable and accurate data on the causal factors that lead to near misses and injury causing incidents in order to design appropriate, informed, safety interventions. The aim of this study was to test the inter-rater reliability of a prototype taxonomy for classifying the causal factors involved in incidents in the outdoor education and recreation sector. The taxonomy consists of three levels, where each category level breaks the previous one down into a finer level of detail. The study involved 14 respondents, who play a key role in risk management within their organization, using the taxonomy to code 10 detailed incident reports. The incident reports were composited from reports and enquiries into actual events, and ranged in injury severity from fractures to fatalities. Participants were asked to: 1) identify the causal factors involved in each incident; and 2) identify the code/s from the taxonomy which best described those causal factors. The study demonstrated that the taxonomy can be used by risk managers to identify and code causal factors across all levels of the led outdoor activity system. However, identifying appropriate codes at the second and third level of detail was problematic.
Keywords: Systems-thinking, accident analysis, incident reports
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