Incident Investigation, Human Failure & Cause Tree Analysis

Topic Safety

CPD Hours 7



This course aims to improve your process incident investigation skills by focusing on the key aspects of incident investigation:

  • the need to search for systemic failures
  • how to diagnose and address human failure
  • collecting evidence (in particular oral evidence)
  • identifying root causes using the Cause Tree Analysis technique.

The course uses case studies from real incidents to demonstrate the use of the SRK human error taxonomy and how to apply Cause Tree Analysis. It includes a workshop in which you will work in teams to develop a cause tree from a description of the evidence from an incident.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you will:

  • understand the multiple purposes of investigations
  • understand the causation 'domino theory' and the need to search for system failures
  • appreciate the different ways humans can fail and how investigations can address these
  • understand how to diagnose human error using the SRK model
  • understand the challenges in collecting evidence and how these can be addressed
  • understand how to apply the Cause Tree (root cause) Analysis technique.

Who will benefit

Managers, supervisors and engineers that have responsibilities for investigating process incidents or who are required to participate in investigations. The course is primarily designed for those with limited previous incident investigation experience.

What delegates say

"I enjoyed the blend of pre-read and online tutoring."
S Foster, Greenergy, UK

Course outline

  • The search for system failures
  • Why humans fail and how we can respond to human failure
  • Case study – human failure diagnosis and response
  • The challenge of evidence collection
  • Cause Tree (root cause) Analysis
  • Workshop – constructing a Cause Tree

In-company delivery

This course is available for in-company delivery, either on-site or online. Content can be tailored to your specific requirements. Request a quotation.

Associated course

Human Factors in the Chemical and Process Industries, Module Two: Managing Human Failure

Learn how to manage human failure effectively to improve overall safety and business performance.

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