“I’ve seen more headlines than I’d like that start with the words ‘ATSB blames’. We don’t.” Says the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan in his latest blog. While he explains the actual no-blame position of the ATSB he opens the question of whether his, and other investigation agencies are doing enough education of the public and the media about what they actually do.
As we all know there are two flavours of accident investigation – those intended to uncover the root causes of an incident and the other basically aimed at hanging whoever can be blamed, usually the master.
As Dolan says: “This approach has major benefits for improving transport safety. Our acting consistently in accordance with the ‘no blame’ principle ensures people are willing to give us lots of sensitive information without fear that the information will be used against them. This helps us understand dimensions of an accident or incident that might otherwise be unknown to us.”