Experts reveal latest in accident prevention

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Experts reveal latest in accident prevention

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Published on 13 February 2014

Leading researchers who are examining the human factors that contribute to accidents in road and rail transport, aviation and outdoor activities will present a seminar at the University of the Sunshine Coast on Monday 17 February.

Associate Professor of Human Factors Paul Salmon, who leads the USC Accident Research (USCAR) team, will be one of four presenters at the free event to be attended by 50 representatives of industry and academia. It will be held at the USC Innovation Centre from 10.30am to 3pm.

“Each presenter will discuss key safety issues in their areas, along with how they are currently using Human Factors approaches to resolve them,” he said.

Latest research into the outdoor adventure, recreation and education sector in Australia will be outlined by USCAR’s Dr Natassia Goode, who is developing a new standardised, national approach to incident reporting.

Dr Goode, who specialises in workplace safety, has been examining how to prevent accidents and injuries that have occurred in led outdoor activities, such as kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling and school camps.

The two international experts will be Professor of Human Factors Neville Stanton from England’s University of Southampton, and Dr Guy Walker of Heriot Watt University’s School of the Built Environment in Scotland.

Professor Stanton, who has published 25 books on Human Factors and Ergonomics, will draw on his career in aviation safety including researching tools to predict errors on flight decks, analyses of single pilot commercial operations and developing all-weather landing displays in helicopters.

Dr Salmon said Professor Stanton was an international leader in the field who would offer insights into what could be learnt from major aviation accidents and how human factors can be used to enhance aviation safety.

Dr Walker’s presentation will examine how ever-increasing amounts of raw transport data may predict “seemingly nonsensical” human factors accidents in rail transport and aviation.

“These accidents are exemplified by the recent Spanish rail disaster, where the media asks how an experienced driver of a modern high-speed train on a modern high-speed route could make a seemingly elementary error like entering a curve too fast,” he said.

Dr Salmon will discuss the need to initiate a new systems-thinking approach to road safety, which he believes could result in less road trauma.

“I’ll describe a range of my recent research applications in which this approach is being used to resolve long-standing road safety issues, for example in road crash data collection and in the design of road intersections and rail crossings.”

He said the international academics would be at USC for a fortnight to collaborate on projects.

Julie Schomberg

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