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BMC Near-Miss and Incident Reporting (Read 6153 times)

danm

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BMC Near-Miss and Incident Reporting
April 16, 2019, 09:56:59 am


The BMC launched a near-miss and incident reporting scheme on Monday, with the  partnership and support of Mountaineering Scotland, Mountaineering Ireland and others. The plan is for a 1 year trial and then to review at the end of that. You can view and submit reports here: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/incident-reporting

It's been a real honour to work on this, which started as a conversation with some ordinary climbers from the SW, who had an idea and needed our help to make it a reality. So, if you have any experiences you'd like to share with others, please fill out and submit a form. I hope you find the reports useful, our hope is to get enough to be able to produce a summary report at the end of the trial period and take things from there.

petejh

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Saw this in my email the other day and decided to file a report. Could have filed many more than one report, as most climbers probably could! The system seems well set up. Good to see this, it's a service long overdue for UK climbers/hill-goers. Well done Dan and all involved.

Will Hunt

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What's the scope, Dan? Anything? Just wondering, if I were to headpoint a route and fell off and was injured on the solo attempt, does that count? Or are we more looking at gear failure/lack of best practice? To some, any leader fall could be a near miss.

Good idea though. If nothing else the opporunity for dark humour and understatement in the reporting is a great gift to British climbing.

Quote from: Britomartis, Gogarth
All 3 nuts were behind a large flake that appeared solid at the time of belay construction. Climbing as a 3. When 2 seconds arrived the flake flexed with them hanging on it and all 3 nuts popped out. Belay was well equalised and held on the peg (heart in mouth). We all calmly unweighted the belay...

 :o  Somehow I doubt it was that calm!

Will Hunt

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OK, this is fucking great. Some of them are mental.

https://www.incidents.thebmc.co.uk/responses/5a8a3418-fab0-4c41-9a94-ab4528fb5e71

Quote
I fell head first down a 15ft ravine into broken dead wood. My head hit a trunk with caused concussion and vomiting. A stick went into the upper part of my arm which got infected and turned green. I also suffered injuries to my pelvis but am not sure what it is as I cannot be bothered going to hospital


Dan, have you had any yet which are obviously fake or trolling?

tomtom

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They might be interesting reading Will - but none of them are great!

Scary stuff. Glad my Mum Doesn’t have the URL.

cheque

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What are the BMC hoping to get out of it Dan? Looking at the variety of reports (from ripping all the gear and decking to bruising heels after pushing out too hard taking a practice fall at the wall) after less than two days it already looks like the only conclusion you could draw is “climbing’s dangerous, have your wits about you and even then you could still be unlucky” which we surely all know already?

SA Chris

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I'm assuming / hoping it will be used over time to see if there are any common themes / trends which can then be used to produce targeted safety notices / undertaking of investigation / improvement of understanding, as is done in many industries.

danm

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Mike,

The original concept came from Pete and Louis down in the SW, and the primary aim was to give a forum for reflective practice to be shared. The moderation process is simple - follow the guidelines in order to be published, or not, but we won't edit anything.

This means we won't have any real control over what comes in, and obviously some will have greater value in being shared than others. Anything without discernible value won't be published though.

The plan is to see what we've got at the end of the trial period, and then ideally produce a report where we pick up on trends, common causes, and incident archetypes. At this stage though it's really a suck it and see approach.

cheque

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Cheers Dan. It’ll be interesting to read the report at the end. I guess it’ll be like the “Accidents in North American Mountaineering” report they have annually in the states. I don’t envy you having to go through them all though!

T_B

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Unfortunately I think this sort of thing needs to be heavily moderated, otherwise you risk losing the useful stuff in amongst the beginner-stating-the-bleeding-obvious, which is what most of the reports published so far seem to be. Or, perhaps all you need is a voting system like the 'was this review useful' tool on Amazon? That way the guff drifts to the bottom.

SA Chris

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Nature of the beast I think. You should see some of the guff that gets recorded on our safety system at work.

SamT

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Be interesting to pull some stats in a few years. 

No. of abseiling related incidents.
No. of leader related incidents,
No. Loose rock related incidents. 
No. of fingertape related incidents.
etc etc.

I can see some quite groovy venn diagrams being drawn already.

Muenchener

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How is Accidents in North American Mountaineering edited / curated? Seems like talking to somebody with experience there would be an obvious thing to do.

danm

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How is Accidents in North American Mountaineering edited / curated? Seems like talking to somebody with experience there would be an obvious thing to do.

Yep, we did that already. We spoke to a number of providers of a similar service. Dougald who runs the US/Canada scheme was particularly useful to talk to, as they've evolved their approach over the years to remove the stats analysis and focus on anecdotal reports as this was found to be a stronger driver of behavioral change. They get about 130 reports or so a year.

The Austrians run theirs through part of the Police, it's a large government funded scheme and they now have around 100,000 reports as theirs covers all mountain incidents. Given the country is one big mountain, their approach was never going to be appropriate to follow, so we're closest to the US/Canada model.

tomtom

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I think its a great idea.

I read the one about the flake widening at a belay spitting out the gear leaving people held by one doddy peg - and straight away you realise - don't put all your pro on one flake!


Muenchener

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How is Accidents in North American Mountaineering edited / curated? Seems like talking to somebody with experience there would be an obvious thing to do.

Yep, we did that already. We spoke to a number of providers of a similar service. Dougald who runs the US/Canada scheme was particularly useful to talk to, as they've evolved their approach over the years to remove the stats analysis and focus on anecdotal reports as this was found to be a stronger driver of behavioral change. They get about 130 reports or so a year.

The Austrians run theirs through part of the Police, it's a large government funded scheme and they now have around 100,000 reports as theirs covers all mountain incidents. Given the country is one big mountain, their approach was never going to be appropriate to follow, so we're closest to the US/Canada model.

Assumed you probably would have done - I certainly didn't want to come across as suggesting you hadn't done your due diligence

Do you have a link to the Austrian stuff? I can read German fluently so would be interested.

SA Chris

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- and straight away you realise - don't put all your pro on one flake! stick to bouldering

HaeMeS

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Do you have a link to the Austrian stuff? I can read German fluently so would be interested.

Thanks Dan for the site/database! I hope it’ll lead to interesting insights and less accidents. 

I’ve set up a similar database/site in the Netherlands in 2011. Reports have to be moderated since most reports have confusing content or misspelled language. Moderation is also necessary to protect the innocent (i.e. delete names/venues).
There’s never been a fake report, although I suspected it once. Turned out the report was true, it being a very, very lucky near miss.  :o

We’re using the reports to spot common themes or trends which can be used to produce specific safety notices. Trends we found have led to an updated curriculum for the climbing courses as well as an updated training for climbing wall instructors. Recently we’ve spotted a trend towards more accidents with belayers dropping their leader after an unexpected fall (@ indoor climbing walls). Turns out this is a combination of more walls offering lead climbing, more people using Smart/Jul2/etc belay devices, but without proper training or knowledge about common mistakes. We’ve already knew this was a common cause for accidents, but the amount of reports led to an intensified campaign to raise awareness amongst instructors, climbing walls and climbers.

The near misses are just as interesting as the misses.  They lead to an improved understanding of the why and how stuff might go wrong. Since most errors are human errors, an insight into the thinking and handling almost leading to an incident is just as interesting as a genuine incident. Sometimes even more interesting as a serious incident tends to focus on the outcome instead of the causes leading to the accident.

Unfortunately only a fraction of incidents is reported. Not because the incident database/site isn’t known, but because climbers tend to be secretive about their errors. A very unfortunate behaviour IMO, and something I/we’ve failed to change over the years. A lot can be learned from avian sports (my colleagues next door) or diving. Accident reporting in those sports tends to be the norm after an incident. Maybe things will change in the future…

@Münchener:
https://www.alpenverein.de/Bergsport/Sicherheit/Unfallstatistik/
No individual data are accessible.

The Dutch site: https://www.klimongevallen.nl/ongevallen/
The Belgian equivalent: https://www.klimenbergsportongevallen.eu/ They started recently and have no visible data yet since they will publish the reports twice a year.

danm

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Please stop wadding me for doing my job! The real heroes are the volunteers Pete and Louie who put the original concept together and laid all the groundwork, and have been suckered into being part of the moderation team!

Oldmanmatt

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Nature of the beast I think. You should see some of the guff that gets recorded on our safety system at work.

Quite.

As a Marine accident investigator/surveyor these data bases were invaluable (and made for frickin excellent conference/AGM speeches at IIMS). The anecdotal, generally more valuable than dry stats, as that never conveys what actually happened, or more often, what might have happened and why it didn’t.
I bet, human error, for most prevalent initiating factor of recorded incidents, at the end of trial; at 80% incidence.

Can we set up a sweepstake?

Paul B

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Unfortunately I think this sort of thing needs to be heavily moderated, otherwise you risk losing the useful stuff in amongst the beginner-stating-the-bleeding-obvious

I'd disagree with this. If it's a common theme of beginners doing X wrong then you can try and do something about X. I work in the Civil Engineering, specifically a design and build for the past ~5 years. You'd think you wouldn't have to tell someone not to try and warm their hands up using the exhaust gasses from a large (>40 tonne) excavator within the slew radius. If so, you'd be wrong! ...and so many more.

Oldmanmatt

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Unfortunately I think this sort of thing needs to be heavily moderated, otherwise you risk losing the useful stuff in amongst the beginner-stating-the-bleeding-obvious

I'd disagree with this. If it's a common theme of beginners doing X wrong then you can try and do something about X. I work in the Civil Engineering, specifically a design and build for the past ~5 years. You'd think you wouldn't have to tell someone not to try and warm their hands up using the exhaust gasses from a large (>40 tonne) excavator within the slew radius. If so, you'd be wrong! ...and so many more.

I’ve got a blacker cat, than your black cat...

Try telling the young Stoker, who came back to his destroyer a little tipsy, not to piss on the 1200A shore supply cable, that the dockyard crane had clipped earlier in the day (unbeknownst to anyone, at the time) and damaged the insulation...

You’ll need a Ouija board, but someone should tell him.

After the lecture and photos, we all learned to keep the zip up in the dockyard.


kingholmesy

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Fuck, what a way to go.  :o

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shark

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Plenty of time to take precautionary action then. Well done BMC