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Applying a systems thinking lens to injury causation in the outdoors: Evidence collected during 3 years of the Understanding and Preventing Led Outdoor Accidents Data System


Introduction This article presents a detailed systems analysis of injury incidents from 35 Australian led outdoor activity organisations between 2014 to 2017.

Method Injury incident reports were collected using a specific led outdoor activity incident reporting system known as UPLOADS (Understanding and Preventing Led Outdoor Accidents Data System).

Results In total, 1367 people sustained injuries from across 20 different activities, with an injury rate of 1.9 injured people per 1000 participants over the three-year period. A total of 2234 contributory factors from multiple levels of the led outdoor activity system were identified from the incident reports, and 361 relationships were identified between contributory factors.

Discussion This systems analysis of injury incidents demonstrates that it is not only factors within the immediate context of the incident (Participants, Environment, Equipment) but factors from across multiple systemic levels that contributes to injury incidents (Schools, Parents, Activity centre management). Prevention efforts should focus on addressing the whole network of contributing factors and not only the prominent factors at the lower system levels within the immediate context of the injury incident occurrences.

  • incident reporting
  • AcciMap
  • contributory factors
  • led outdoor activity
  • systems thinking

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