Accident Causation Theory

    EXOS 4633 is offered this spring:

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.


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
This course has no prerequisites

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

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.
  • Graded on a pass or fail basis: a passing grade of 70% or higher is required to receive Completed Requirements (CR) on your transcript.
Currently counts towards

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

*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.

Looking for
different course dates?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

EXOS 4633 is offered this spring: