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Investigation of fundamental causes of accidents, incidents and near misses (Root-Cause-Analysis) for the prevention in small and medium-sized enterprises

Project number: F 2287 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) / TÜV Nord SysTec Gmbh & Co. KG Status: Completed Project


In most of the investigations after accidents, incidents and near misses only simplistic trigger are determined and human failure as the universal cause are called. A Root-Cause-Analysis (RCA) determines profound reasons to find out solutions with lasting effect. With the goal to solve deep problems of safety and health the RCA is an instrument to prevent accidents and incidents.

Although the RCA are used in many industry sectors (nuclear power, chemical industry, aerospace) and service providers like medicine and aerial navigation and many tools and training documents are produced, there is no comprehensive research about advantage and disadvantage or critical aspects in using a RCA. But there are many questions about how profound the interviews of the analysis should be and when the analysis can stop, because you have detailed enough answers.

On the basis of comprehensive survey and deep interviews the demand for recommendations about efficiency applications of RCA should be collected, in order to develop a method, which realises a better application of RCA in great companies and makes accessible in small and medium-sized enterprises.


Unit 2.3 "Human Factors, Ergonomics"

Phone: +49 231 9071-1971 Fax: +49 231 9071-2070

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