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Accident Analysis & Prevention
Abstract The systems approach is arguably the dominant concept within accident analysis research. Viewing accidents as a result of uncontrolled system interactions, it forms the theoretical basis of various systemic accident analysis (SAA) models and methods. Despite the proposed benefits of SAA, such as an improved description of accident causation, evidence within the scientific literature suggests that these techniques are not being used in practice and that a research–practice gap exists. The aim of this study was to explore the issues stemming from research and practice which could hinder the awareness, adoption and usage of SAA. To achieve this, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 safety experts from ten countries and a variety of industries, including rail, aviation and maritime. This study suggests that the research–practice gap should be closed and efforts to bridge the gap should focus on ensuring that systemic methods meet the needs of practitioners and improving the communication of SAA research.