Incident reporting in the outdoors: A systems-based analysis of injury, illness, and psychosocial incidents in led outdoor activities in Australia
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
The Australian Research Council
ARC Number : LP150100287
Incident reporting systems are a fundamental component of safety management, however, most systems used in practice are not aligned with contemporary accident causation models. This article presents an analysis of a National Incident Dataset (NID) for adverse incidents occurring in the Australian Led Outdoor Activity (LOA) sector. The aim was to investigate the adverse Injury, Illness, and Psychosocial incidents reported to the NID. In total, 1657 injuries, 532 illnesses, and 146 psychosocial incidents were analysed from 357,691 program participation days. The findings show that the rate of incidents per 1000 program participant days in LOAs was 4.6 for injury, 1.5 for illness, and 0.04 for psychosocial incidents, and incident severity was predominately minor. The analysis of systemic contributory factors demonstrates that incidents in LOA are systemic in nature, with multiple levels of the LOA system identified as contributing to adverse incidents. For example, contributory factors were identified across local government (facilities), schools (communication), parents (communication), LOA management (policies and procedures), people involved in the incidents (mental and physical condition), and the environment (terrain) and equipment (clothing). This study presents an assessment of the current state of safety in the Australian LOA sector and demonstrates the utility of applying systems ergonomics methods in practice. Practitioner summary: This article presents an analysis of 1657 injury, 532 illness, and 146 psychosocial incidents occurring in the Australian Led Outdoor Activity (LOA) sector, using a systems ergonomics method. The findings demonstrate the incident charactersitics and how decisions and actions from across the system contribute to adverse incidents in LOAs.