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What do applications of systems thinking accident analysis methods tell us about accident causation? A systematic review of applications between 1990 and 2018

What do applications of systems thinking accident analysis methods tell us about accident causation? A systematic review of applications between 1990 and 2018
What do applications of systems thinking accident analysis methods tell us about accident causation? A systematic review of applications between 1990 and 2018

Introduction: This systematic review examines and reports on peer reviewed studies that have applied systems thinking accident analysis methods to better understand the cause of accidents in a diverse range of sociotechnical systems contexts. 

Methods: Four databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science) were searched for published articles during the dates 01 January 1990 to 31 July 2018, inclusive, for original peer reviewed journal articles. Eligible studies applied AcciMap, the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), the Systems Theoretic Accident Model and Processes (STAMP) method, including Causal Analysis based on STAMP (CAST), and the Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM). Outcomes included accidents ranging from major events to minor incidents. 

Results: A total of 73 articles were included. There were 20, 43, six, and four studies in the AcciMap, HFACS, STAMP-CAST, and FRAM methods categories, respectively. The most common accident contexts were aviation, maritime, rail, public health, and mining. A greater number of contributory factors were found at the lower end of the sociotechnical systems analysed, including the equipment/technology, human/staff, and operating processes levels. A majority of studies used supplementary approaches to enhance the analytical capacity of base applications. 

Conclusions: Systems thinking accident analysis methods have been popular for close to two decades and have been applied in a diverse range of sociotechnical systems contexts. A number of research-based recommendations are proposed, including the need to upgrade incident reporting systems and further explore opportunities around the development of novel accident analysis approaches.

Accident analysis, AcciMap, FRAM, HFACS, Sociotechnical systems, STAMP
0925-7535
164-183
Hulme, Adam
110afcb6-92b2-40ff-a6be-25f66ea133ca
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd
Walker, Guy H.
ad8b469d-7e11-4481-9bbe-09dae6ee853b
Waterson, Patrick
708fcc53-ddcc-45d1-9360-7a92b815cb3b
Salmon, Paul M.
8fcdacc0-31f9-4276-bd9e-8127db6c806e
Hulme, Adam
110afcb6-92b2-40ff-a6be-25f66ea133ca
Stanton, Neville A.
351a44ab-09a0-422a-a738-01df1fe0fadd
Walker, Guy H.
ad8b469d-7e11-4481-9bbe-09dae6ee853b
Waterson, Patrick
708fcc53-ddcc-45d1-9360-7a92b815cb3b
Salmon, Paul M.
8fcdacc0-31f9-4276-bd9e-8127db6c806e

Hulme, Adam, Stanton, Neville A., Walker, Guy H., Waterson, Patrick and Salmon, Paul M. (2019) What do applications of systems thinking accident analysis methods tell us about accident causation? A systematic review of applications between 1990 and 2018. Safety Science, 117, 164-183. (doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2019.04.016).

Record type: Review

Abstract

Introduction: This systematic review examines and reports on peer reviewed studies that have applied systems thinking accident analysis methods to better understand the cause of accidents in a diverse range of sociotechnical systems contexts. 

Methods: Four databases (PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Web of Science) were searched for published articles during the dates 01 January 1990 to 31 July 2018, inclusive, for original peer reviewed journal articles. Eligible studies applied AcciMap, the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS), the Systems Theoretic Accident Model and Processes (STAMP) method, including Causal Analysis based on STAMP (CAST), and the Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM). Outcomes included accidents ranging from major events to minor incidents. 

Results: A total of 73 articles were included. There were 20, 43, six, and four studies in the AcciMap, HFACS, STAMP-CAST, and FRAM methods categories, respectively. The most common accident contexts were aviation, maritime, rail, public health, and mining. A greater number of contributory factors were found at the lower end of the sociotechnical systems analysed, including the equipment/technology, human/staff, and operating processes levels. A majority of studies used supplementary approaches to enhance the analytical capacity of base applications. 

Conclusions: Systems thinking accident analysis methods have been popular for close to two decades and have been applied in a diverse range of sociotechnical systems contexts. A number of research-based recommendations are proposed, including the need to upgrade incident reporting systems and further explore opportunities around the development of novel accident analysis approaches.

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What do applications of system thinking analysis methods tell us about accident causation SAFETY SCIENCE 2019 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 14 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 April 2019
Published date: 1 August 2019
Keywords: Accident analysis, AcciMap, FRAM, HFACS, Sociotechnical systems, STAMP

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432439
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432439
ISSN: 0925-7535
PURE UUID: 690e8e69-4ee6-4d26-90b5-f58be3c87a05
ORCID for Neville A. Stanton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8562-3279

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jul 2019 16:33
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 05:03

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Contributors

Author: Adam Hulme
Author: Guy H. Walker
Author: Patrick Waterson
Author: Paul M. Salmon

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