International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

A conceptual accident causation model based on the incident root causes Pereira, Estacio; Taghaddos, Hosein; Hermann, Rick; Han, SangUk; Abourizk, Simaan


The measurement and control of incident root causes allows for proactive actions to mitigate risk in advance. In practice, however, it is difficult to identify and collect data that represent the root causes due to the complexity of incident occurrence processes. Despite previous studies on incident causation modelling, the identification of root causes in practice still relies on the investigator’s subjective opinion. This research presents a conceptual model that explains the causal relationships between the root causes and the site unsafe level, and eventually assesses incident investigation processes. A case study was conducted to evaluate the 13 root causes in a company’s investigation practice. The causal relationship between the root causes was observed based on the company safety database, interviews, and literature review. Then, the detailed model, which explains the incident occurrence process, was explored. Additionally, a hypothetical simulation model that allows for evaluation of the influence of each root cause on the safety level was built and tested to discuss the potential use of the conceptual model. Based on the company database, this paper also suggests and discusses the types of data to measure the root causes in practice. The model demonstrates that not only do safety personal and safety strategies affect the site unsafe level, but other factors also do, such as procurement, engineering, human resources, etc. As a result, the proposed model can be used to help identify the root cause in incident investigation practice and to develop strategies to improve safety performance.

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