Paper: Model of safety inspection

Woodcock, K., 2014. Model of safety inspection. Safety Science 62, 145–156. Link

Safety inspection is a common element of safety management systems but has been subject to little scholarly research. A naturalistic study conducted in the amusement ride inspection domain identified key features of the task and derived a model fitting the inspection process independent of experience. A survey extended to two additional safety inspection domains supported the central features of the task description including generalist assignment of safety inspectors, high complexity, consecutive use of checklists, risk-informed decision making, and lack of performance feedback. Inspectors adapted to differences in knowledge and familiarity by using strategies to resolve uncertainty, including search for permissive sources and distributed cognition. The model provides a framework for development of strategies to support inspectors and to aid novice knowledge acquisition.

Author: Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.