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Inadequate risk assessment has been highlighted as a contributing factor in the deaths of several children participating on school outdoor education programs. Further, whilst the systems thinking approach to accident prevention is now prevalent in this domain, the extent to which schools consider the overall led outdoor system during risk assessment processes is not clear. The aim of this study was to determine whether the systems thinking perspective has been translated into risk assessments for outdoor programs. Four school outdoor education risk assessments were analysed and Rasmussen's (1997) Risk Management framework was used to map the hazards and actors identified in the risk assessments. The results showed that the hazards and actors identified reside across the lower levels of the Accimap framework, suggesting a primary focus on the immediate context of the delivery of the activity. In short, from a systems perspective, not all of the potential hazards were identified and assessed. This suggests that current risk assessment practice is not consistent with contemporary models of accident causation, and further, key risks could currently be overlooked. The need for the development of a systems theory based risk assessment process is discussed.
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2351-9789 © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference
doi: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.193
Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 1164
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
ScienceDirect
6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the
Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015
All about the teacher, the rain and the backpack:The lack of a
systems approach to risk assessment in school outdoor education
programs
Clare Dallat*, Paul M. Salmon, Natassia Goode
Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Arts and Business,Locked Bag 4,
Maroochydore DC,QLD, 4558, Australia
Abstract
Inadequate risk assessment has been highlighted as a contributing factor in the deaths of several children participating on school
outdoor education programs. Further, whilst the systems thinking approach to accident prevention is now prevalent in this
domain, the extent to which schools consider the overall led outdoor system during risk assessment processes is not clear. The
aim of this study was to determine whether the systems thinking perspective has been translated into risk assessments for outdoor
programs. Four school outdoor education risk assessments were analysed and Rasmussen’s (1997) Risk Management framework
was used to map the hazards and actors identified in the risk assessments. The results showed that the hazards and actors
identified reside across the lower levels of the Accimap framework, suggesting a primary focus on the immediate context of the
delivery of the activity. In short, from a systems perspective, not all of the potential hazards were identified and assessed. This
suggests that current risk assessment practice is not consistent with contemporary models of accident causation, and further, key
risks could currently be overlooked.The need for the development of a systems theory based risk assessment process is
discussed.
© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference.
Keywords:Led outdoor sector; Systems-thinking; Risk assessment; Hazards
*Corresponding author.
E-mail address: clare.dallat@research.usc.edu.au
© 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference
1158 Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
1. Introduction
Risk assessments are not a new requirement for outdoor education programs, although there remains confusion
over how to conduct them [1-5]. Australian Workplace Health and Safety legislation
(e.g. www.worksafe.vic.gov.au; www.worksafe.qld.gov.au) and Education Departments (e.g. DEECD, Victoria;
DET, NSW) mandate that a risk assessment should be completed prior to the conduct of an activity or program.
However, recent findings from the Coroners Courts identified inadequate risk assessment as a key contributing
factor in the deaths of several children participating on schooloutdoor education programs [6, 7].The second of these
inquests [6] highlighted the lack of a comprehensive risk assessment methodology as one of the key challenges
facing the domain.
The domain’s literature is populated with a significant number of articles detailing specific methodologies for
risk assessment [8, 3, 4, 9, 5]. Parkin and Blades [8], for example, recommend that, “three factors need to be
considered when identifying risks: the participants, the equipment and the environment” (pp. 11). They also suggest
that hazards in combination may lead to an adverse outcome and as such, “risk identification should include the
identification of all (these authors’ emphasis) likely risk combinations (e.g. participants/equipment/ environment
hazards -potential and likely)” (pp.10). This statement is indicative of the majority of articles that advocate a
similar approach to risk assessment in the led outdoor sector. This dominant ‘Participant, Equipment and
Environment’ approach appears to limit the potential factors which require consideration during risk assessment to
the immediate context of, and within, the confines of the activity itself.
This approach appears to be counter to current thinking in the led outdoor activity domain regarding accident
causation, as well as within the broader field of safety science. Within the led outdoor activity domain, it has been
established that systems models are the most appropriate for understanding accidents and preventing future
occurrences [10, 11].Recent analyses of both minor and fatal incidents within this domain has demonstrated that
multiple contributory factors from across the led outdoor activity system were in fact present [15]. This perspective
has long been the driving force behind accident analysis and prevention in other safety critical domains [12, 13,14].
Having established that systems models are the most appropriate for accident analysis and prevention within the
led outdoor activity sector, a domain-specific systems accident analysis method was developed [10, 11, 15, 16]. This
involved adapting Rasmussen’s [12] framework to describe the led outdoor activity system. The framework (known
as UPLOADS) consists of six system levels: government bodies, regulatory associations, activity centre planning,
local area government, schools and parents; supervisory and management decisions and actions; decisions and
actions of leaders, participants and other actors at the scene of the incident; and equipment, environment and
meteorological conditions. The purpose of the method is to guide investigation and the analysis of incidents.
Potentially, it could also be used to evaluate the comprehensiveness of risk assessments for outdoor education
programs, as it describes all of the hazards within the outdoor activity “system” and where they reside, as well as the
actors involved in the provision of activities.
The systemic nature of accidents requires that any risk assessment process focuses on risks across the system in
which activities are provided. Despite this, the extent to which led outdoor activity providers consider the overall led
outdoor system during risk assessment processes is not clear. Certainly the literature suggests that the focus is
mainly on the leader and participants, the equipment being used, and the environment, which in turn suggests that
various parts of the system are being ignored. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the systems thinking
perspective on accident causation was adopted in four recent risk assessments for school outdoor programs.
Rasmussen’s [12]Accimap framework was used to map the identified hazards and their interactions considered in
the risk assessments across the led outdoor activity system. In addition, this paper will aim to describe: 1) the types
of hazards that are currently considered in risk assessments for outdoor education programs in schools; and 2) the
actors that are identified as performing a role in controlling the risks associated with these hazards.
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Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
2. Method
2.1. Design
The study involved a qualitative analysis of four publicly available risk assessments undertaken by schools
conducting outdoor education programs. The study was approved by the University of the Sunshine Coast Human
Ethics Committee.
2.2. Identification of risk assessments
The search engine Google (www.google.com.au) was accessed on the 3rd February 2015 and the following search
term: ‘risk assessment for outdoor education programs in Australia’ was entered, achieving 825,000 results. The
search results were reviewed in concurrent order (starting from page 1) for current, accessible and completed
school-based outdoor education risk assessments, which also provided a reasonable geographical representative
sample from across Australia. Two risk assessments that met the above inclusion criteria but which, after closer
inspection did not contain any identified hazards, were excluded. The first four risk assessments meeting the
inclusion criteria were accepted for analysis.
2.3. Risk assessment content analysis
Each risk assessment was coded individually, which involved identifying all of the hazards and actors. To assess
the extent to which the risk assessments adopted a systems approach, the UPLOADS Accident Analysis Framework
was then used to represent the findings [10, 17, 11, 15, 16]. This involved placing the hazards and actors identified
onto the appropriate level of the framework. For example, if the hazard ‘severe weather’ was identified in the risk
assessment, it was placed at the ‘Environment and meteorological conditions’ level. If the hazard of becoming
‘Lost’ while participating in the activity of bushwalking was identified, it was placed at the ‘Decisions and actions
of leaders, participants and other actors at the scene of the incident’ level. For the actors, if, for example, instructors
and participants were identified, this was placed at the ‘Decisionsand actions of leaders, participants and other
actors at the scene of the incident’ level. If parents were identified, this was placed at the, ‘Activity Centre
Management, planning and budgeting, local area government, parent and schools’,level.
3. Results
3.1. Overview of risk assessments
Of the four risk assessments, one was completed for a single activity that a school group was to participate in
(cycling), while the second was created to cover two activities (‘mass surf swims’ and ‘creek swims’). A third
focused on multiple activities occurring on an outdoor education program occurring within a centre (a ‘hard-top’
location where there is a variety of activities available and accommodation is both camping and bunk bed style). The
fourth risk assessment centred on the activity of camping in a school outdoor program. Three risk assessments were
state based and represented three different states in Australia, with the final assessment designed to be used for
schools operating nationally (different schools under the same faith-based governance). Across all four risk
assessments, 21 led outdoor activities (e.g. abseiling, cooking, canoeing, surf swims and cycling) were identified.
3.2. Hazards and associated UPLOADS levels
Overall, 77 types of hazards were identified across the four risk assessments. 76 of the hazards were found to be
situated across the two lower levels of the UPLOADS framework; these levels being, ‘Decisions and actions of
leaders, participants and other actors at the scene of the incident’ and, ‘Equipment, environment and meteorological
1160 Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
Table 1.Overview of the information contained with the four risk assessments.
State Number of
activities
assessed
Number of
hazards
identified
Number of
actors
identified
Role of staff who
completed Risk
Assessment
Approval of Risk
Assessment
(Yes/No)
Risk Assessment 1 NSW 18 23 4Unknown No
Risk Assessment 2 QLD 223 6Teachers (14
names mentioned)
Yes
Risk Assessment 3 Victoria 115 3Unknown No
Risk Assessment 4 National 116 2Unknown Yes
conditions’. One hazard (Student Numbers) was identified at the ‘Supervisory and management decisions level’
(Level 3).
The Accimap containing the identified hazards for the four risk assessments is presented in Figure 1. The
numbers in brackets represents the number of times they were mentioned. The most commonly populated level was
the ‘Environment and meteorological conditions’ level (42 hazards) whereas the next level, ‘Decisions and actions
of leaders, participants and other actors at the scene of the incident’, contained 34 hazards. Only one identified
hazard, “Student Numbers” was represented in the ‘Activity Centre Management, planning and budgeting, local area
government, parent and schools’ level. No other levels of the Accimap were represented from the hazards identified
within the four risk assessments.
At the ‘Equipment, environment and meteorological conditions’ level, 64% of the UPLOADS taxonomy was
represented, whereas only 17% appeared at the ‘Decisions and actions of leaders, participants and other actors at the
scene of the incident’ level. This percentage reduced even further upon reaching the ‘Supervisory and management
decisions and actions’ level of the UPLOADS framework, with only 10% of the UPLOADS causal factor taxonomy
factoring in the risk assessments.
Hazards and risks associated with physical injuries and illnesses featured prominently with,“Pre-existing
conditions”, “falls”, “strains and sprains”, “fractures”, “burns”, and “allergic reactions” together accounting for 50%
of all hazards represented across the ‘Decisions and actions of leaders, participants and other actors at the scene of
the incident’ level of the framework.
Within the ‘Environment and meteorological conditions’ level, weather and subsequent weather conditions
presented strongly. “Lightning”, “temperature”, “rips”, “drowning” and, “weather conditions”, collectively
accounted for 33% of the identified hazards at this level of the framework.
Within the remaining hazards populated on this level of the framework, there was significant variance in the
types of hazards identified. For example, one risk assessment identified “Environment being harmed by a human” as
a hazard requiring action, whereas another referred to the potential for “Allergic reaction to Arts and Crafts
Material”.
3.3. Actors identified
It became evident that the higher the number of hazards that were identified in the risk assessments, there were
subsequently more actors which were also documented within the risk assessments. This finding however, was not
repeated in relation to a correlation between the number of activities and the number of actors. In this case for
example, Risk Assessment 1 had 16 identified activities, yet only four actors whereas, Risk Assessment 2 had two
activities yet identified six actors with responsibility for risk control implementation.
An ActorMap for the actors represented in the four risk assessments is presented in Figure 2. Three levels of the
ActorMap were populated with actors identified in the risk assessments. The ‘Decisions and actions of leaders,
participants and other actors at the scene of the incident’ level contained the highest number of actors referred to
within the four risk assessments (12 in total). One risk assessment (surf swim and creek swim program) highlighted
the role of “Parents” and “Local Council”, consequently populating the ‘Activity Centre Management, planning and
budgeting, local area government, parents and schools’ level. Another risk assessment (the multi-activity program
with both camping and bunk bed options) included the “Catering Manager” role in the risk assessment process; this
populated the ‘Supervisory and management decisions and actions level’ of the ActorMap.
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Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
Government
department decisions
and actions
Regulatory bodies and
associations
Local area government,
schools and parents
Activity cen tre
management planning
and budgeting
Supervisory and
management decisions
and actions
Decisions and actions of
lead ers, par ticipa nts
and other actors at the
scene of the incident
Equipment,
environment and
meteorological
conditions
Student numbers
Medical conditions (3)
Burns (3)
Slips and trips (1)
Trailer reversi ng (1)
Chafing (1)
Jumping (1)
Limited skill (1)
Dehydration (1)
Strains and sprains (2)
Diving (1)
Exhaustion (1)
Fatigue (1)
Abduction (1)
Falls (3)
Special needs group (1)
High risk behaviour (1)
Injury from arrow (1)
Allergic reacti on (3)
Abrasions (1)
Fractures (3)
Negative impact with
another group (1)
Lost student (1)
Infectio n (1)
Sloping ground (1)
Environment being harmed
by human (1)
Wild animals (1)
Exposed ridges/hollows (1)
Treed campsite (1)
Cattle grids (1)
Steep terrain (1)
Unknown site (1)
Lightning (2)
Animal bites/stings (3)
Tree fall (1)
Road hazards (1)
Water visibility (1)
Rips (2)
Temperature hot/cold (3)
Weather conditions (2)
Drowning (3)
Water quality (2)
Falling objects (1)
Heights (1)
Fire (1)
Sharks (1)
Exposure (1)
Sunburn (1)
Clothing entangled in bike
(1)
Bike failure (1)
Communication device
failure (1)
Trailer decoupling (1)
Arts and crafts material
(allergic reaction to) (1)
Vehic les (1)
Jewellery (1)
Equipment failure (1)
Fig. 1.Accimap representing hazards identified within the four risk assessments.
4. Discussion
The aim of this study was toinvestigate whether the systems thinking perspective on accident causation was
adopted in four recent risk assessments for school outdoor programs. In order to achieve this, the types of hazards
considered in four risk assessments for outdoor education programs in schools were identified, along with the actors
who were recognized in the risk assessments as performing a role in controlling the risks associated with these
hazards. Both hazards and actors were then mapped using a led outdoor activity accident analysis frameworkbased
on Rasmussen’s [12] Risk Management Framework [10, 11, 15, 16].
The findings suggest that the risk assessment approaches within the four risk assessments may not be consistent
with contemporary models of accident causation. The identified hazards and consequent risk assessment strategies
were found to populate only the lower levels of the framework, with 76 of the 77 hazards identified focussing on the
immediate context of the activity only. Further, the actors identified populated primarily across the immediate
delivery context of the activity those at the so-called ‘sharp-end’ were most commonly referred to within the risk
assessment. The findings of this study undoubtedly reflect the risk assessment approach most commonly referred to
within the domain’s literature on risk assessment -one that focuses almost exclusively on the immediate confines of
the activity and specifically, on the “People, the Equipment, and the Environment” [2, 8, 3, 4, 9, 5].
A second important finding is that the hazards identified at the lower levels are not consistent with the hazards
known to be prevalent in accidents in this domain. With only 17% of UPLOADS causal factor taxonomy being
represented at the second level of the framework (Decisions and actions of leaders, participants and other actors at
the scene of the incident), it seems evident that even in a level garnering significant attention in the risk assessments,
many hazards were in fact not being considered at all. Further, at the level which represented most congruence
between the four risk assessments and the UPLOADS causal factor taxonomy (‘Equipment, environment and
1162 Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
Government Policy and
Budgeting
Regulatory Bodies and
Associations
Local area government,
parents, schools and
activity centre
management,planning
and budgeting
Technical and
operational management
Physical processes and
instructor/participant
activities
Equipment and
surroundings
Equipment Physical
Environment
Instructor
Risk Assessments
1, 2&4
Participants
Risk
Assessments
1,2,3&4
Group
Supervisors
Manag ers (e.g.
progra ms,tra ining ,
risk,teaching)
Risk Assessment 1
Activity Centre
senio r
manag ement /
board l evel
Local Govt and
counc ils
Risk Assessment 2
Schoo ls,school
princ ipals an d
school councils
Regul atory bodies
Parents
Risk
Assessment 2
Govern ment
bodie s
State Departments
of Education
e.g.DEECD
State Departments
of Land
Management e.g.
Parks Victoria
Accredi tation
bodie s Auditing bodies
Peak bodies for
outdoor recreation,
outdoor education,
and adventure
tourism
State Adventure
Activ ity Stand ards
Stand ards
Australia
Outdoor Council
of Austr alia e.g.
National outdoor
leaders reg
scheme
Emerge ncy
services
Mete orologica l
condi tions
Ambient
condi tions
Teac hers
Risk
Assessments
1,2,&3
Lifeguard
Risk
Assessment 2
Support driver
Risk
Assessment 3
Fig. 2.Led outdoor activity ActorMap.Adapted from [18]. (Shaded areas represent actors considered within the four risk assessments).
meteorological conditions’), with only 64% of the UPLOADS causal factor taxonomy represented, many hazards at
this level were also not being considered.
So what do these findings tell us about risk assessment for led outdoor activities and programs? First and
foremost, they suggest that current approaches to risk assessment are in contradiction to current thinking and
approaches to accident causation, both within the led outdoor domain itself (e.g. Salmon et al, 2014), and within the
wider field of safety science [14, 13, 12]. Multiple studies have demonstrated that numerous contributory factors,
evident from across the led outdoor activity system, were present in both minor and fatal incidents within this sector
[15]. This systemic nature of accident causation requires any risk assessment process to focus on risks across the
system. In other words, by accepting the presence of contributory factors which lead to accidents, of all magnitudes,
throughout the system, we could reasonably expect the hazards found in risk assessments to populate across all
levels of the UPLOADS framework, and not solely within the lower levels. In short, the factors (or hazards) that
were found to be contributory following an incident, must have also been present, prior to the incident. By the
absence of such factors populating the majority of the UPLOADS framework in this study, it seems that potential
hazards, and consequently, potential risks to participants, were not being identified on these outdoor education
programs. A second important implication is that the hazards identified at the lower levels may not be paint the full
picture of hazards present at these levels. The hazards identified only covered 22% of those included in the
UPLOADS taxonomy (which was developed based on a comprehensive assessment of the contributory factors
involved in led outdoor activity accidents). This suggests that current approaches also do not support the
identification of the range of hazards at the leader, participant, equipment and environment levels. Therefore, in
short, the focus of current risk assessment approaches is too narrow, both in terms of the levels of the system
considered, and in terms of the leader, participant, equipment and environment hazards considered.
It is worth noting that hazard identification is only one aspect of a risk assessment process, as described in most
WHS guidelines and international standards (ISO 31000, AS/NZ 4360). Additional steps involve assessments of the
potential severity and frequency of associated risks arising from interaction with the hazard, before documented
controls can be considered, prioritised and implemented (IEC 31010:2009 Risk Management Risk Assessment
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Clare Dallat et al. / Procedia Manufacturing 3 ( 2015 ) 1157 – 1164
Techniques). If hazards exist throughout the system, associated with the conduct of an outdoor education program,
but which remain unidentified, it seems evident that the processes with which to reduce the potential of harm
associated with those hazards, will not be implemented. A systems perspective posits that effective and appropriate
risk controls must also target the interactions between the higher-level factors and the lower level factors [12]. An
interesting further line of research would be to assess the other components of risk assessment and their concurrence
with contemporary models of accident causation. Does, for example, the assessment of severity take into account
interactions between components and the fact that small events can lead to emergent behaviours of a far greater
magnitude (i.e. large scale catastrophes)?
The recent coronial inquest into the death of a student on an outdoor education camp in Victoria, Australia [6],
highlights the tragic yet unintended, consequences of failing to consider hazards and risks within the entire system.
One of the Coroner’s findings surrounded the inappropriateness of the dam as a place to swim in in the first place.
Upon analysis of the incident, it became evident that various “Actors” involved with planning the activity (well
before the actual activity occurred) believed that it was both someone else’s role to ensure adequate, qualified
supervision at the dam and further, the assumption was made on historical evidence from previous camps, that a
qualified lifeguard would be provided (it later became apparent that this person had in fact left their position, several
years prior). It is possible that, employing a systems based approach to risk assessment, where hazards at all levels
within the system, were identified and potential risks managed, that this gap would have been identified, and
consequently may have led to the essential controls being implemented to reduce the likelihood of such a tragedy
occurring.
Finally, the limitations of the study and directions for future research should be considered. As a proof of concept
study only a small sample of risk assessments were analysed. This limits the ability to generalise these results and
findings to the wider domain. However, given that all the existing guidance regarding risk assessment for outdoor
education programs focusses primarily on hazards associated at the activity delivery end -namely, on people,
equipment and the environment, it seems highly likely that the risk assessments included in this study are reflective
of the sector.
To conclude, this study has demonstrated that, in four recent risk assessments, a systems approach was not
employed. This is inconsistent with what we know about accident causation and potentially represents a key failure
of current approaches. At worst, this suggests that we may not currently comprehend the hazards and risks present
during led outdoor activities. More work is therefore required to enable potential hazards and risks across the entire
led outdoor system to be identified and importantly, the potential interactions of these hazards and risks to be
understood. The various actors across the same system need to be identified, as well as their interactions, with both
each other, and the potential hazards and risks. It may,for example, be the case that by adopting a systems based
methodology to risk assessment that additional actors will be identified. Nonetheless, in order for this work to occur,
we need to understand better the current barriers to developing and implementing systems-based approaches to risk
assessments within the led outdoor activity domain. The wellbeing of the entire system could depend on it.
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... Following this, an overview of NET-HARMS is presented along with a case study application within a specific contextthe led outdoor education and recreation domain. This domain was selected as the first analyst has significant subject matter expertise in this field and further, within Australia, analyses of injury-causing incidents revealed inadequate risk assessment as a significant contributory factor (Van Mulken et al, 2017;Salmon et al, 2016aSalmon et al, , 2017Dallat et al, 2015;White, 2014). Following presentation of the case study analysis, the risks identified using NET-HARMS are compared with a dataset describing the contributory factors involved in injury-causing incidents within led outdoor activities (Van Mulken et al, 2017). ...
... Networks (Stanton et al, 2013 Dallat et al, 2015). Current risk assessment methods and practice largely focus on the identification, assessment and control of risks situated at the so-called 'sharp end' of practice; those risks located at the delivery part of led outdoor education programs (Dallat et al, 2015). ...
... Networks (Stanton et al, 2013 Dallat et al, 2015). Current risk assessment methods and practice largely focus on the identification, assessment and control of risks situated at the so-called 'sharp end' of practice; those risks located at the delivery part of led outdoor education programs (Dallat et al, 2015). Notably, NET-HARMS identified 1131 emergent risks associated with the design, planning and review tasks (Sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 of the HTA), whereas in the program delivery tasks (Section 4 of the HTA), 232 emergent risks were predicted. ...
Article
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Accidents are a systems phenomenon and multiple methods are available to enable retrospective analysis of accidents through this lens. However, the same cannot be said for the methods available for forecasting risk and accidents. This paper describes a new systems-based risk assessment method, the NETworked hazard analysis and risk management system (NET-HARMS), that was designed to support practitioners in identifying (1) risks across overall work systems, and (2) emergent risks that are created when risks across the system interact with one another. An overview of NET-HARMS is provided and demonstrated through a case study application. An initial test of the method is provided by comparing case study outcomes (i.e. predicted risks) with accident data (i.e. actual risks) from the domain in question. Findings show that NET-HARMS is capable of forecasting systemic and emergent risks and that it could identify almost all risks that featured in the accidents in the comparison data-set.
... Zink and Leberman, 2001;Brown, 1995;1998, Parkin andBlades, 1998;Priest, 1996;Meyer, 1979). Moreover, how they are conducted, the methods applied and the associated challenges in applying them have long been a point of discussion amongst LOA practitioners (Dallat, Salmon and Goode, 2016;Dallat, 2015b;Cruchet, 2006), and within the literature (Dallat, Salmon and Goode 2015a;Dickson, 2001;Parkin and Blades, 1998;Bailie, 1996). Parkin and Blades (1998), for example, were highly critical of outdoor education risk management resources in general (of which risk assessments are a significant component), attesting that they are failing to meet the practical needs of practitioners, as well as being too theoretical, and not user-friendly. ...
... However, many of these methods are now dated with some being over twenty years old. Within the past twenty years, both the general field of safety science has advanced, with the evolution of both theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding accident causation and analysis, (see Leveson, 2004;Hollnagel, 2012;Dekker, 2011), as well as the LOA domain specifically, (see Salmon et al, 2010Salmon et al, , 2012Salmon et al, , 2016Goode et al, 2014;Dallat et al, 2015a). An important feature of these advances is that it is now widely accepted that accidents and injury-causing incidents have multiple contributory factors outside of the people, environment and equipment directly involved in the incident. ...
... Known as the systems approach, this view now largely prevails within safety management in safety-critical domains Underwood and Waterson, 2014), and the LOA domain is also starting to embrace it in studies involving accident causation, reporting and prevention (see Carden, Goode and Salmon, 2017;Salmon et al, 2010Salmon et al, , 2012Salmon et al, , 2014Salmon et al, , 2017Dallat et al, 2015a;Goode et al, 2014;Trotter, Salmon and Lenne, 2014). ...
Article
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Inadequate risk assessment has been implicated as a contributory factor in the deaths and injuries of participants on led outdoor activity (LOA) programmes in both Australia and overseas. The identification and assessment of risks is a required component of LOA programmes, and multiple risk assessment methods and techniques are available to the practitioner. Little, however, is known about the risk assessment approaches currently applied in practice. This study surveyed Australian LOA practitioners to: (1) determine which risk assessment methods and policy guidance are currently used in practice (if any); (2) understand practitioner perspectives around the utility of risk assessments; and (3) identify perceived challenges and barriers in applying these methods to the LOA context. The results paint a concerning picture of confusion and uncertainty in relation to conducting risk assessments, as well as a lack of policy guidance and formal training. The results imply that new and more suitable methods of risk assessment should be developed, focussing on the development, planning and delivery of led outdoor activities.
... Typical AOL safety studies use the individual as the unit of analysis, and infer that outdoor program safety is created primarily by individual decision making (Collins et al., 2018, Priest & Gass, 2018, Shooter & Furman (2011. Critiques of OAL's narrow guide or instructor-focused 'decision making as safety' have emerged (Dallat et al., 2015;Jackson, 2016), with the identification of several additional layers of complexity and additional variables in safety performance (Jackson, 2016). Safety climate provides a means of quantifying and understanding an organization's safety systems, adding complexity to the understanding of safety performance in OAL. ...
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The outdoor adventure leadership (OAL) field has an extensive body of work centered on individual safety performance, but much less at the organization level of analysis and assessment of organizational safety. Safety climate is a well-established construct and when measured can be indicative of employees’ perceptions of organizational safety and predictive of safety performance. This study employed a safety climate scale and surveyed 506 employees across 10 United States OAL not-for-profit organizations. Dimensions of safety as a recognized value, and leadership and management for safety typically scored the highest across organizations. The dimensions of safety as learning oriented, and safety as integrated into operations, typically scored the lowest. Trust in the organization and OAL delivery pressure, workload, and stress emerged as important indicators of safety climate at the organizational level. Directions for future research based upon this safety climate tool are identified.
... Typical examples include canoeing, rock climbing, hiking and camping. An inherent value of many of these activities is the presence of risk (Dallat et al., 2015). ...
Article
This article describes a study in which a popular systems analysis method was used to inform the design of a safety standard. Specifically, Work Domain Analysis was used to analyze and reorganise the structure of a safety standard for organisations providing adventure activities in Australia. Work Domain Analysis allowed for the identification of system objects, processes, functions, measures, and purposes, revealing limitations in the capacity of the proposed structure to achieve the safety standard’s intended purposes. Limitations included a high number of compliance requirements, a confusion between mandatory and optional requirements, a lack of educational support material, and no reliable means to measure system performance. The analysis was used to design an “ideal” structure for the safety standard. Key recommendations of the ideal structure were accepted for implementation, while others were not. The potential for future applications of Work Domain Analysis for regulatory system evaluation, reform, and design are discussed.
... There are signs of an established practice of enforcing increased regulation following accidents, injuries, and deaths of students in schools. However, there might be good reasons for their implementation, because inadequate risk assessment has been related to the death of students in Australia, for example (Dallat, Salmon, & Goode, 2015). A current range of new requirements has ...
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In 2008, the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training implemented a new circular with directives for water activities in schools and with a call for testing teachers’ water competence. This circular seems to align with international school safety policies, where additional regulations and safety guidelines are put into practice in school programs such as physical education. Despite this, studies that have applied a critical discourse perspective on regulative texts in physical education seem scarce. The purpose of this article is to examine how teachers’ risk and safety management in physical education is constructed in five regulative documents governing primary and secondary schools in Norway. Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse methodology has been applied to conduct a linguistic and contextual analysis of language. The analysis seems to reveal a discourse that challenge teachers’ autonomy and position. Because the discourse can appear to be neutral and imperative, it might be taken for granted in the field. The entrancement of a controller in examining teachers’ water competence seems to reflect ideals of revision and central control. This article therefore contributes to the understanding of regulative discourses and their power, in education and physical education.
... Lead outdoor activities (LOA) and the organizations that provide such experiences have yet to closely examine how organizational factors influence individual safety performance. Critiques of LOA's narrow 'sharp end' view of safety have emerged (Jackson, 2016;Dallat, Salmon, & Goode, 2015). Safety climate provides a means of quantifying and understanding an organization's safety systems, adding needed complexity to the understanding of LOA safety performance. ...
Conference Paper
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This mixed method study examined employee perceptions of safety climate at ten lead outdoor activity organizations, finding generally positive results. 495 participants completed an online survey and open ended qualitative questions. Dimensions of Safety as a recognized value, and Leadership and management for safety typically scored the highest across all organizations. The dimensions of Safety as learning oriented, and Safety as integrated into all aspects of organization, typically scored the lowest. Qualitative themes of positive communication and learning from incident reporting emerged, as did needed investment in recruitment, training and retention of staff and improving trust and emotional safety.
... Typical examples include canoeing, rock climbing, ski-touring and camping. An inherent value of many of these activities is the presence of risk (Dallat, Salmon, & Goode, 2015). Risk contributes to the excitement of recreational outdoor activities and provides personal challenges that often form a necessary component of learning and personal growth processes . ...
Article
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Led outdoor activities such as rock climbing, canoeing, and hiking, involve intentional engagement with risk. Organizations that provide these activities are obliged to manage risk by eliminating or minimizing health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Regulating safety across this industry sector therefore presents special challenges. The current regulatory environment for led outdoor activity safety in Victoria, Australia consists of multiple, loosely connected instruments and agencies. This study used Work Domain Analysis to develop a model of the functional structure of the regulatory system. The model was then used in interviews with domain experts to identify problems with the structure, efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory system. A model of the functional structure of the system was developed and system weaknesses identified. Next steps toward reform of this system and implications for other regulatory regimes are discussed.
... The philosophy has evolved to a point where overall systems comprising government, regulatory bodies, organisations, individuals, technologies, documents, and the environment becomes the unit of analysis when tackling safety issues (e.g., Rasmussen, 1997;Svedung and Rasmussen, 2002). Rasmussen's (1997) risk management framework is a widelyused systems-based model of accident causation that is currently receiving significant attention in injury prevention in sport and outdoor recreation (e.g., Clacy et al., 2015Clacy et al., , 2016Dallat et al., 2015;Goode et al., 2015;Marras and Hancock, 2014). The framework is underpinned by the idea that systems comprise various levels (e.g., government, regulators, company, company management, staff, and work), each of which are co-responsible for safety. ...
... The philosophy has evolved to a point where overall systems comprising government, regulatory bodies, organisations, individuals, technologies, documents, and the environment becomes the unit of analysis when tackling safety issues (e.g., Rasmussen, 1997;Svedung and Rasmussen, 2002). Rasmussen's (1997) risk management framework is a widelyused systems-based model of accident causation that is currently receiving significant attention in injury prevention in sport and outdoor recreation (e.g., Clacy et al., 2015Clacy et al., , 2016Dallat et al., 2015;Goode et al., 2015;Marras and Hancock, 2014). The framework is underpinned by the idea that systems comprise various levels (e.g., government, regulators, company, company management, staff, and work), each of which are co-responsible for safety. ...
Article
Aim: The aim of the present study was to utilise a systems thinking approach to explore the perceived responsibilities for identifying and treating concussion held by different actors across the community rugby system (e.g., players, coaches, parents, medics, referees, and management), as well as their role-specific concussion management strategies. Methods: A systems approach was taken to assess what different stakeholders within rugby systems perceive their roles to be regarding concussion identification and treatment. Through an online survey, 118 members of the amateur (community) rugby union system were asked about their role-specific concussion management responsibilities and strategies. Respondents included players, parents, medics, coaches, club managers, administrators, and volunteers. Results: The majority of respondents indicated that they were able to identify the symptoms of rugby-related concussion, however, only medics stated their responsibility to use formal concussion assessments (e.g., SCAT2). A smaller number of the respondents indicated that they were involved in treating concussion within their current role/s (majority of which were medics). Conclusions: This study illustrated that the current challenges in the identification and treatment of rugby-related concussion in community sport may be due to role/responsibility confusion and possible overreliance on field-side medics. These findings offer insight into the possible limitations of the current concussion management guidelines and may offer empirically based direction for future revisions.
Book
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The theoretical part of the book shows that learning in CyberParks takes the form of technology-enhanced outdoor learning and is an element of smart learning, i.e. the latest concept of ICT-supported learning. Learning in CyberParks can also become an element of smart education – a concept of formal learning in the smart city. Learning in CyberParks is supposed to provide students with contact with nature and stimulate them to be physically active. It is thus a type of a dual-task. Studies in cognitive neuroscience suggest that this type of cognitive-motor interference can expose students to a motor danger and weaken their cognitive capabilities. If this was the case, the idea of learning in CyberParks would need to be modified. In order to solve this, two experiments with the use of mobile EEG were carried out. The empirical part of the book indeed shows that during dual-tasks in CyberParks students are less focused and more stressed, and the dynamics of attention and meditation ceases to reflect the dynamics of the cognitive task. Thus, before CyberParks become learning spaces, the idea of CyberParks has to be modified. The cognitive activity intended in CyberParks should be separated from physical activity. When learning in CyberParks, one should be sitting and using applications that do not require movement. Staying close to nature improves the functioning of the brain, therefore such learning is more effective than that carried out indoors. It is also more healthy. When designing CyberParks, one thus has to think not only about the technological infrastructure, but also about making spots for using ICT while sitting available. In this approach, learning in CyberParks becomes an important concept that can be used in practice in order to provide an answer to numerous problems of contemporary educational institutions, related to students’ lack of contact with nature and consolidation of their sedentary lifestyle.
Article
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Calculating risks, in the sense of giving the risk some objective measure, in an outdoor program may be a highly desirable activity to assist in the process of prioritising the allocation of resources to risk management, however most risk management models, while recommending the assessment or evaluation of risks, do not provide a mechanism to do so. This article draws on a model developed 30 years ago and seeks to demonstrate its potential use in calculating risks in an outdoor and experiential learning environment. The formula is applied to several outdoor scenarios as an example of its use with suggestions of possible actions that may be implemented to minimise the risks. While suggesting a process of risk calculation may imply that risk identification and assessment is an objective process, it is argued here that risk management, even with a mathematical formula, remains a subjective process based upon human judgment.
Article
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The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics that led outdoor activity providers agree are necessary for the development of a new industry-wide incident reporting and learning system (UPLOADS). The study involved: 1) a literature review to identify a set of characteristics that are considered to be hallmarks of successful reporting and learning systems in other safety-critical domains; and (2) the presentation of these characteristics to 25 Australian led outdoor activity providers using a two round modified-Delphi technique to obtain consensus views on their relative importance in this domain. Thirteen out of 30 characteristics were endorsed as “essential” for developing an incident reporting and learning system for the led outdoor activity sector, and a further 13 were endorsed as “required”. “Essential” characteristics primarily related to operational or practical characteristics of the system, while “required” characteristics primarily related to system infrastructure, data quality and the basis for developing of countermeasures to address identified injury risks. The findings indicate that although led outdoor activity providers are primarily concerned that the demands of reporting do not adversely impact on their day to day operations, they also recognise that data collection methods and countermeasure development need to be of high quality. The paper concludes by highlighting some potential strategies for implementing the characteristics considered “essential” and “required”.
Article
Despite calls for a systems approach to assessing and preventing injurious incidents within the led outdoor activity domain, applications of systems analysis frameworks to the analysis of incident data have been sparse. This article presents an analysis of 1014 led outdoor activity injury and near miss incidents whereby a systems-based risk management framework was used to classify the contributing factors involved across six levels of the led outdoor activity 'system'. The analysis identified causal factors across all levels of the led outdoor activity system, demonstrating the framework's utility for accident analysis efforts in the led outdoor activity injury domain. In addition, issues associated with the current data collection framework that potentially limited the identification of contributing factors outside of the individuals, equipment, and environment involved were identified. In closing, the requirement for new and improved data systems to be underpinned by the systems philosophy and new models of led outdoor activity accident causation is discussed.
Article
Three accident causation models, each with their own associated approach to accident analysis, currently dominate the human factors literature. Although the models are in general agreement that accidents represent a complex, systems phenomenon, the subsequent analysis methods prescribed are very different. This paper presents a case study-based comparison of the three methods: Accimap, HFACS and STAMP. Each was used independently by separate analysts to analyse the recent Mangatepopo gorge tragedy in which six students and their teacher drowned while participating in a led gorge walking activity. The outputs were then compared and contrasted, revealing significant differences across the three methods. These differences are discussed in detail, and the implications for accident analysis are articulated. In conclusion, a modified version of the Accimap method, incorporating domain specific taxonomies of failure modes, is recommended for future accident analysis efforts.
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Adventure, risk and challenge are often used to develop participants personal and leadership qualities during an outdoor education program. The exposure of participants to adventure, risk and challenge may also put them into contact with hazards that may cause negative program outcomes or result in participant or leader injury. Stress, injury and serious harm are all outcomes of an outdoor education program that has not been planned and conducted safely. Program hazards may be a result of an oversight in the program planning process or a failure to identify appropriate strategies to reduce the likelihood of, or manage incidents during the conduct of the outdoor education program. To minimise program hazards and risk of injury, outdoor educators need to be able to identify, reduce and control hazards. In most instances a practical step-by-step process for identifying potential program hazards and for documenting appropriate risk reduction and risk management strategies will assist outdoor educators in this task. This paper outlines a practical risk management process that outdoor educators may wish to use.
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To help with the teaching of wilderness expeditionary leadership, this book contains knowledge regarded as essential for Wilderness Education Association (WEA) instructors. WEA courses are educational expeditions of 28-35 days designed to teach outdoor leadership in wilderness environments. Chapters focus on the "whys" behind fundamental principles, on ways to teach in the field, and on complex or poorly understood issues of importance. Chapter 1 introduces WEA and discusses outdoor leadership certification, WEA Steward Programs, and WEA accreditation of university courses. Chapter 2 draws on the literature of outdoor leadership and social and organizational psychology to develop a framework for making quality decisions in the field. Chapter 3 examines group dynamics in the outdoors and the behavior and styles of effective leaders. Chapter 4 discusses the teaching of environmental ethics and camping practices to minimize ecological and social impact. Chapter 5 outlines basic wilderness skills--selection of clothing and equipment, trail techniques, teaching navigation, and basic camping practices. Chapter 6 describes nutrition, rations planning, and outdoor food preparation. Chapter 7 reviews adventure skills, travel modes and organization, safety, accident prevention, and risk management. Chapter 8 describes pretrip medical requirements for participants, first aid kits, and wilderness emergency procedures and treatment. Chapter 9 outlines program administration--planning, development, outfitting, and evaluation. Each chapter contains a reference list. An index is included. (SV)
Article
In spite of all efforts to design safer systems, we still witness severe, large-scale accidents. A basic question is: Do we actually have adequate models of accident causation in the present dynamic society? The socio-technical system involved in risk management includes several levels ranging from legislators, over managers and work planners, to system operators. This system is presently stressed by a fast pace of technological change, by an increasingly aggressive, competitive environment, and by changing regulatory practices and public pressure.Traditionally, each level of this is studied separately by a particular academic discipline, and modelling is done by generalising across systems and their particular hazard sources. It is argued that risk management must be modelled by cross-disciplinary studies, considering risk management to be a control problem and serving to represent the control structure involving all levels of society for each particular hazard category.Furthermore, it is argued that this requires a system-oriented approach based on functional abstraction rather than structural decomposition. Therefore, task analysis focused on action sequences and occasional deviation in terms of human errors should be replaced by a model of behaviour shaping mechanisms in terms of work system constraints, boundaries of acceptable performance, and subjective criteria guiding adaptation to change. It is found that at present a convergence of research paradigms of human sciences guided by cognitive science concepts supports this approach. A review of this convergence within decision theory and management research is presented in comparison with the evolution of paradigms within safety research.
Article
Safety-compromising accidents occur regularly in the led outdoor activity domain. Formal accident analysis is an accepted means of understanding such events and improving safety. Despite this, there remains no universally accepted framework for collecting and analysing accident data in the led outdoor activity domain. This article presents an application of Rasmussen's risk management framework to the analysis of the Lyme Bay sea canoeing incident. This involved the development of an Accimap, the outputs of which were used to evaluate seven predictions made by the framework. The Accimap output was also compared to an analysis using an existing model from the led outdoor activity domain. In conclusion, the Accimap output was found to be more comprehensive and supported all seven of the risk management framework's predictions, suggesting that it shows promise as a theoretically underpinned approach for analysing, and learning from, accidents in the led outdoor activity domain. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: Accidents represent a significant problem within the led outdoor activity domain. This article presents an evaluation of a risk management framework that can be used to understand such accidents and to inform the development of accident countermeasures and mitigation strategies for the led outdoor activity domain.
Which code is it? Inter-rater reliability of systems theory-based causal factor taxonomy for the outdoor sector, in: 19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association
  • N Z Taylor
N.Z. Taylor et al.,Which code is it? Inter-rater reliability of systems theory-based causal factor taxonomy for the outdoor sector, in: 19th Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association. Melbourne, Australia.2015.