Before you read the book, one or two things should be clarified. Our membership includes Coronial, Criminal, Civil, In-house and Consulting investigators, and some work across multiple disciplines and sectors. Whilst we do, of course, maintain a deep, multi-disciplined understanding of the subject, the Institute per se has no philosophy on causation. As the many thousands who have met Difford for instance will know, he reflects that view when he typically says that an investigator must gather his or her evidence objectively, and report accordingly.

How each individual ultimately verifies the causal findings they put forward is another matter entirely. For many, it is that which is the critical matter. Whether those findings are seen to hold water or not will depend upon the questions that are asked, and the answers the investigator is able to provide. “Redressing the Balance – A Commonsense Approach to Causation” assists such critical question and answer sessions.

On the back cover of the book, I offer that “if” certain of Difford’s findings are correct, elements of the risk and safety management profession will need to undergo a paradigm shift regarding their views on causation and the causes of accidents. The critical qualifier there is the word “if”. The answer to a question regarding whether certain of Difford’s findings are correct or not is, therefore, one left solely to you, the reader. Having said that, finding after finding reveals itself to be irrefutable and it is hoped, informed by thorough readings of the book, that you will stay abreast of the intense International debate “Redressing the Balance – A Commonsense Approach to Causation” has initiated.

Update:
Since making the above statement, it appears that “Safety Differently – Human Factors for a New Era,” Dekker (2015), now believes that Difford’s (2011) support for Heinrich’s (1941) so-called Common Cause Hypothesis may, in fact, be correct in the vast majority of organisations Worldwide.

Alan Dell MBE Hon FIIAI

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