Ian Cannon speaks at Keene State College Professional Development Conference.

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Keene State College (KSC), in Keene New Hampshire, USA, is widely-recognized for their Safety and Occupational Health degree program. Many New England area Safety professionals are KSC Alumni. Cannon was invited to speak at KSC’s third annual PDC, hosted by the Student Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) on February 24th. This year’s conference theme was “Safety- Past, Present and Future”. About 200 attended.

Cannon’s presentation, “Incident Investigation for Effective Outcomes”, emphasized consistent use of an organized incident investigation system as a means to; determine incident causes and generate realistic, measurable corrective actions.

The 5-step TOP-SET process – Incident Statement, Plan, Investigate, Analyze, Report – was shown, using an automobile accident example for context. Participants were guided on how to formulate investigation-planning questions to maximize information in the answer. 

Staying with a system like TOP-SET helps to maintain objectivity, and assures “nothing is missed” with incident information and questions. Consistent use of an investigation system assures: ability to compare investigation outcomes; the same degree of thoroughness in each investigation; creating sufficiently-detailed corrective actions; and the ability to manage leadership expectations.

A hands-on case study on a shipping container fire was explored. The group developed a problem definition incident statement, then noted existing information, and formulated questions to pursue in the investigation – using the power of dialogue to prompt more ideas.

Feedback was positive: “Good hands-on experience to end the lecture!”; “I took a lot from this presentation”; “Very informative and engaging, fun and knowledgeable session”

KSC’s Occupational Safety degree program continues to grow as it builds upon the past with alumni in key New England company safety positions. Through this conference, KSC is keeping their students and area professionals up to date with the very latest developments and best practices – and they are positioning participants for the future through applying lessons from the PDC and their Safety degree program.