Past and future in accident prevention and learning: single case or big data?

John Stoop, Nicolas Dechy, Yves Dien, Tuuli Tulonen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


The European Safety Reliability and Data Association (ESReDA) has since 1993 set up a series of Project Groups dealing with the different angles of ‘accident investigation’ and ‘learning from events’. With the 25th Anniversary of ESReDA now in 2016, the core of this group is still active, and has just initiated a new phase with its latest Project Group on ‘Foresight on Safety’. With the objective of improving the quality of accident investigation and the efficiency of learning from experience process and ultimately raising safety performance, the successive groups tasked themselves at two levels: the first one, at a societal, institutional and legal level, on the public accident investigation and societal learning; the second one, at a methodologicaland organisational level, on the conduct of accident investigation, the enablers and barriers to learning. This article summarises the Project Groups' achievements (reports, books, papers and ESReDA seminars) on the various aspects of of accident investigations and dynamic learning from events. This article presents a synthesis of the approach and main results, the lessons learned, some dilemmas and conflicts, future challenges, recommendations and suggestions for action. Although varying in composition over time, the main participants remained involved in the development of the issue: participants from the European and member state authorities, industries, research centres and universities and professional practitioners represent a unique, voluntary cooperation across sectors, actors and disciplines that has lasted for almost 23 years now. At last, with the rise of ‘big data’ it is valuable to recall the interest of single case investigation and address the complementarity of the two approaches to learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 50th ESReDA Seminar on 25 years of ESReDA Seminars: Sevilla, Spain
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event50th ESReDA Seminar on 25th years of ESReDA Seminars - Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain
Duration: 18 May 201619 May 2016


Conference50th ESReDA Seminar on 25th years of ESReDA Seminars


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