Modern accident investigation - Four major challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Nowadays, 'investigation' is a very commonly advocated approach and consequently is becoming an umbrella concept. 'Investigation' includes many types of approaches on different system levels. Originating from transport accidents and crime scenes, 'investigation' ranges from genocide, natural disasters, via discrimination, health care to crime fighting, economic fraud and ethical questions in engineering and management. In such a changing operating environment and widespread applications, accident investigation must reassess its distinctive role, purposes and operating conditions. It must clarify and communicate its specific aims and functions and performance to such an extent that it maintains its credibility, capability and quality in the eye of professionals, politicians as well as the public. Based on an assessment of the past performance of leading investigation agencies, practical experiences during major ad hoc accident investigations and changes in the operating environment, a SWOT analysis identified several issues as internal and external challenges in the future conduct of major investigations. Finally, the article proposes several priorities, challenging each stakeholder and expert in the investigation community to contribute from its own perspective to improve accident investigation theory and practices. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Sverre Roed-Larsen
  • Stoop John
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified


  • Investigation, Safety, Risk, Prevention, Accident, Disaster, Commission
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1397
JournalSafety Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch