Accident Causation Theory

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.
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.

When will
this course be offered?

New course schedules are released each June and November.

Course not yet scheduled

This course is not currently scheduled, but may be offered in an upcoming term.

New course schedules are announced each June and November.


Sign up for updates

Interested in future offerings of this course? We can let you know when this course becomes available.