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Title: Hazards awareness for aircraft accident investigators
Author: Boston, Nathalie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 7968
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2010
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Hazards on accident sites are such that investigators must balance personal safety against the risks involved in collecting evidence intended to prevent future loss of life. Better knowledge of hazards and their mitigation could reconcile these conflicting objectives to a point at which risk might be no greater than in other workplaces. Nevertheless, the magnitude and nature of the hazards at any accident site cannot be determined in advance. The perceptions of novice accident investigators of potential hazards are not greatly different from the realities encountered by experienced investigators, although the former tend to focus on general health and safety issues, while experienced investigators are more aware of hazards arising from aircraft systems and materials. Experienced investigators reported most of the hazards they encountered over six years as arising within a narrow range of hazard categories - yet they must be prepared to carry out thorough investigations while protecting themselves against all hazards, including those encountered very infrequently. Both generic and dynamic risk assessments are important in protecting investigators and the integrity of evidence. The ongoing management of an investigation in the field involves a continuous and iterative cycle: identification of hazards, determination of exposure, assessment of risk, introduction of controls, review and assessment of remaining risk, and identification and management of residual hazard. Lives and evidence depend upon the quality of this process. At present, great reliance is placed on personal protection equipment as a control on hazards. Observation of participants in training programmes has identified instances of poor selection and ineffective use of such equipment to the extent that it has provided no protection. The thesis points to required further directions in the training of investigators - an investment which will yield its dividend in the prevention of future accidents and loss of life.
Supervisor: Braithwaite, Graham R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available