The Role of Causal factors Charting in Fatality Investigation

The Role of Causal factors Charting in Fatality Investigation



The Role of Causal factors Charting in Fatality Investigation

Investigations conducted following accidents are meant to determine the causes of such accidents examine them and use the information generated to prevent occurrence of such accidents in future. It is thus important that accident investigators investigate deeply into situations that result in accidents.  In performing these investigations, the causal factor charting is a very significant and indispensable instrument.

Accidents are normally a product of several factors and condition which interact to trigger the accident and yield the resultant effect of an accident. Event & Causal Factor Analysis charting facilitated depiction of the necessary and sufficient conditions and events for the occurrence of an accident in a logical sequence (Manuele, 2007). This way, the chances of failing to recognize the contribution of a factor of an event is minimized. This not only helps simplify the investigation repot organization but also facilitates accurate illustration of accident sequence in the report. Charting facilitates analysis of the quality of evidence collected during an investigation as well as validated the correctness of the analyses conducted in the pre-accident systems and conditions.

Creating a provision ECFA chart is one of the activities investigators come up with when they get to the accident scene. Though this initial chat may be deficient in information the charting guides the investigation and facilitates organization of the information that is collected during the investigation (Heuvel, 2008).

ECF charting further compliments other investigative approaches such as Change Analysis, MORT Chart Analysis and Fault Tree analysis. It facilitate correlation of data with this instruments providing the framework under which all the evidence and information generated by the other instruments can be integrated thus providing a good core for the investigation (Reese, 2012).

In sum, ECF charting guides and directs the investigation process. It ensures that all the events and conditions resulting to the accident are identifies and analyzed to determine their contribution. Finally, it provides a platform under which various investigative approaches can by intergraded and facilitate creation of a complete and detailed accident report.


Heuvel, L. (2008). Root cause analysis handbook: a guide to efficient and effective incident investigation. Brookfield, Conn.: Rothstein Associates Inc.

Manuele, F. A. (2007). Advanced safety management focusing on Z10 and serious injury prevention. Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley.

Reese, C. D. (2012). Accident/Incident Prevention Techniques. CRC Press