Accident Causation Theory

  • Online delivery
  • eClass
  • 7 hour course, no prerequisites

Acci­dent cau­sa­tion the­o­ry is the art and sci­ence that seeks to under­stand the deep­er roots of why acci­dents hap­pen. Under­stand­ing acci­dent cau­sa­tion the­o­ry is essen­tial in deter­min­ing why work­place inci­dents occur and so that we can pre­vent re-occur­rences. Through exam­ples and case stud­ies, stu­dents will gain an overview of the most impor­tant the­o­ries, strengths and weak­ness­es of each, and learn how to select the best the­o­ries and mod­els to bet­ter under­stand why acci­dents occur.

Course at a glance
  • A fully online, asynchronous course accessible through eClass, the University of Alberta’s eLearning management tool.
  • Aimed at entry-level and practicing health and safety coordinators, professionals, officers, technicians, supervisors, trainers, management, and administrators.
What you will learn

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand why theories and models are important in the professional practice of OHS.
  • Identify the origin of a particular model (e.g. ergonomics, management, or psychology).
  • Describe the main elements of causation theories and models.
  • Outline strengths and weaknesses of different models and select the most appropriate model(s) for each situation.
  • Understand how each model may be applied to various incidents.
Take note:

  • Primary reading resource: BCRSP Accident Theory Study Guide, available in a PDF format through eClass.
  • Selected readings indicated for each course module are intended to provide you with a point of focus for some the most essential concepts; the primary reading resource, however, should be throroughly reviewed as part of your course activities.
  • To pass this course, students must achieve a minimum final grade of 70%.
This course has no prerequisites

Students from all educational backgrounds welcome. You can register for this course without applying and enrolling in a program.


Course duration
May 10, 2021May 22, 2021
Asyn­chro­nous online learning, eClass

7 hours of instruction

In asynchronous online courses, students are expected to move through the course material at the same pace as their peers, but there are no real-time virtual classroom sessions to attend. All components of this type of course are accessible through eClass, the University of Alberta’s eLearning management tool. for­mat details

David Rebbitt

Your Instructor

David RebbittID: david-rebbitt

The president of Rarebit Consulting, Dave Rebbitt (MBA, CRSP, CHSC) has been in safety for three decades, managing safety departments for many large companies, as well as building and implementing management systems. Author of the book “Effective Safety Committees, A Practical Guide,” Dave has published more peer-reviewed safety articles in international journals than any other safety professional in the country. He is currently a member of the Board of Governors for the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP).

Class info
  • 7 course hours in total
  • Cost assistance: May be eli­gi­ble for the Cana­da-Alber­ta Job Grant and the Canada Training Benefit. (view all)
    Cor­po­rate mul­ti-reg­is­tra­tion pack­ages (groups of 4 or more) are avail­able for most Exten­sion cours­es. Con­tact us at for pre­ferred pricing.
  • Open for registration until May 10, 2021. Register at least one week before the course start date to secure your spot. If space is available you may register until the day the course starts.
Currently counts towards

* If you are already enroled in this program, please refer to your specific program requirements as outlined at the time of your admission: Bear Tracks > Academic Advisement.

You can register for and take a course without applying and enrolling into the program.

We recommend that you apply to the program as soon as possible to lock in your course requirements as they are subject to change.

Looking for different course dates?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

  • Online delivery
  • 7 hour course, no prerequisites

A note about courses during COVID-19: all online

All courses will be delivered online, including many that were previously unavailable in the online format.

If you do see a course or program on our website announced as an in-person or downtown Edmonton offering, please disregard the format – but not the course. There will be no in-person offerings through the Faculty of Extension for the Winter, Spring, and Summer 2021 terms.

Get ready to keep learning! Register for a course and join us online this year.