Tripod Incident Analysis Methodology

Accidents or Incidents are unpleasant events of a kind that no one wishes to continue talking about, after they occurred. In High Risk Business Segment at least, there is a growing tension of investigators struggling to unveil real “Causes” involving organisational issues that had led to them. The primary reason for doing so had always been human nature which seeks progress instead of stagnancy.

What is the TRIPOD Incident& Accident Analysis Methodology?

The birth of the “Safety Culture” era and its dominance over the previous “Socio-technical Period” accident causation theory  , had forever altered the prevailing axioms that drive accident causation. According to the last theory, it is profound that humans are forming teams and carry common characteristics that play a substantially important role into the way that accidents are created.

Therefore Tripod methodology lies into the new advents and fresh tools segment which aims to pinpoint and analyze the reasons of failure of a Barrier via the application of the Human Behavior model. That is why this Analysis looks at what had caused the sequence of events in an incident, the sequence of events themselves, how the incident happened and what Barriers had failed.

The most important factor though which is examined, is the reason that caused those Barriers to have failed.

The construction of a “tree” diagram forms a diagram representation of the incident mechanism which describes the events and its relationships. The event in a TRIPOD Beta Diagram is the result of the Hazard acting on an Object. A Barrier is something that was made to prevent the meeting of an object and a hazard.

When such a Barrier fails, a causation path is made to explain how and why this happened. The TRIPOD method presumes that incidents are caused by human error, which can be prevented by controlling the working Environment. The Causation path displays this by starting with the Active Failure of the Barrier, then under what Precondition or in what contextual state this happened and at last the Underlying Failure of the Barrier.

The aim of TRIPOD Beta is to uncover the hidden deficiencies in an Organisation; the Latent Failures. These can be classified into eleven Basic Risk Factors (BRF’s), these categories that represent distinctive areas of management activity where the solution of the problem lies. All the items of the TRIPOD Diagram are visible below:

Benefits from the Application of TRIPOD Methodology

Tripod Methodology assists investigators:

  • To easily structure an investigation,
  • Helps them distinguish all relevant  facts,
  • Makes causes and effects explicit
  • Encourages team discussion
  • Reduces the report writing task
  • Increases the quality of corrective actions
  • But most importantly offers to the Organisation the opportunity to create a link between previous Risk Analysis and accident aftermaths that profoundly assists into the creation of a Learning Organisation Entity.