Predicting incidents may never happen, but what about forecasting their risk?

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Victoria


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Cattani, M. (2018). Predicting incidents may never happen, but what about forecasting their risk?. In proceedings of Australian institute of occupational hygienists Inc. 36th annual conference & exhibition (pp. 56-60). Melbourne, Victoria: Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Inc. Available here


There appears to be some frustration concerning the reduction in the rate of safety performance improvement, in Australia and overseas. Whilst the total number of lower severity incidents reported appears to be reducing, higher severity incidents do not appear to be following the same trend. The Australian State Governments are the custodians of several databases of workplace incident notifications, as employers are obliged to notify them of serious workplace injuries and other occurrences. Most medium sized or larger organisations also collect and store data and information on their occupational health and safety performance, relating to their safety management system risk management and incidents and injuries. It is hypothesised that since we learn from experience the incident data and information databases could be used to indicate future performance. This project reviewed several incident databases. The project aimed to develop a statistical process to describe the gap in performance defined by risk criteria and the current level of risk performance. The current performance was calculated from organisations effectiveness to manage the risk of injury and incidents over time. This paper outlines a new process to convert data and information into an injury risk index. A demonstration website allows organisations to trial the process with their own data (www.injuryalarm.com). Perhaps one day any organisation will be able to proactively manage unacceptable risk?

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