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Simulating the use of a computerized injury and near accident information system in decision making

Journal of Occupational Accidents 9(2): 87-106

Simulating the use of a computerized injury and near accident information system in decision making

The use of information from long time experience about occupational injuries and near accidents in the decision making has been simulated. The objective has been to study the feasibility of making information about these types of occrrences available to decision makers at various parts of a company via a computer. Prototype computerized injury and near accident information systems were developed at two companies; an airline and a steel mill. Twenty-seven subjects from the line and safety organizations and from the technical, personnel, and health and safety staff at these companies participated in the simulations. A total of more than 100 "decisions" concerning proposals for health and safety measures were made during the simulations. Results showed that the various categories of subjects indicated different information needs in making decisions; information about injuries and near accidents at the company had a high priority for all categories of subjects except one (technical staff). The identification of reports of relevance to a proposal and the display of parts of the contents of these reports represented a frequent use of the information systems; black-spot-analysis, i.e., the identification of concentrations of injuries and near accidents represented another frequent use. A relatively small fraction of the total number of available observations about each injury or near accident was actually used in the "decision making". The results demonstrated needs of free text descriptions of observations as well as of coded information. Differences between the results from the two companies indicate that the solutions regarding computer support should be adapted to the characteristics of the individual company. Implications of the results for the design and implementation of computerized injury and near accident information systems are discussed.

Accession: 006418283

DOI: 10.1016/0376-6349(87)90028-9

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