Incidents are more than just a number: Lessons from 3 years of UPLOADS

Dr Amanda Clacy1, Professor Paul Salmon1

1University Of The Sunshine Coast

The UPLOADS project has been collecting incident report data since 2014, and has provided a summary of 2030 incidents from across Australia. Through the combined efforts of researchers and practitioners working together, we now have national incidence rates for led outdoor activities and are beginning to see trends in the contributory factors which lead to injuries, illnesses, and near miss incidents in the Australian outdoors.

Incidents are much more than a number. Behind each incident are people and stories.  In this session delegates will be presented with a summary of the first 3 years of data, including the common contributing factors to incidents in the led outdoors. Rather than progressing down the well-travelled road of blame or criticism aimed at the people and objects directly involved with an incident, the UPLOADS project aims to facilitate a culture of learning from incidents. The systems approach used in the incident reporting and analysis of the UPLOADS data encourages practitioners to view incidents in a new light – namely, by looking for the interaction of contributing factors across the whole led outdoor system, rather than just at the sharp end.

By aiming to better understand the multiple influencing factors that contribute to led outdoor incidents, system level changes can be supported. Delegates at any stage of their journey will find something interesting and valuable in this session, whether they are just learning their trade, responsible for designing and delivering programs, or involved with safety and risk management operations


About the Association

Outdoor Education Australia (OEA) was established in 2006 as a national network of outdoor education associations. The organisation facilitates communication between state and territory outdoor education associations about the practice and delivery of outdoor education; advocates for outdoor education across primary, secondary and tertiary education; and provides policy advice.

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