Tripod Lite

Tripod lite is a new incident investigation and analysis tool being developed.  The tool is based on a simplified version of Tripod Beta, and has been designed specifically for quick investigations of 'simple' incidents and near misses.

Our vision is to create a self contained investigation tool that would not require special software to use, would require minimal training, contain all of the guidance needed to use effectively, and yet could be employed throughout industry on a large scale to investigate simple incidents and near misses and identify the weak signals that organisations need to effectively learn.

Status: Tripod lite is in phase 2 testing until October 2022. If you or your company are interested in testing Tripod lite (no costs are involved), please contact us via email at tripod@energyinst.org.

Tripod lite draft

What’s the problem?

Investigations into serious incidents often reveal that the causes could have been identified with more systematic analysis of previous simple and less severe incidents or near misses. However, it is impractical to investigate and analyse every event in the same depth as more serious incidents, so weak signals and learning opportunities are missed.

What’s the solution?

Tripod lite is a basic but powerful tool to identify systematic issues from less severe events in a short time scale, and in a way that amplifies those weak signals. It is a simple to use and robust incident analysis tool that can easily be applied by supervisors, local managers and investigators who need to quickly investigate and learn from ‘simpler’ events (i.e. incidents and near misses that are easily described and modelled).

A Tripod lite analysis helps an incident investigator to uncover:

1. What happened? The events that led to an incident.
2. How did it happen? The barriers/safeguards that should have been in place to prevent the incident, but failed.
3. Why did it happen? What caused the barriers to fail?

How to use

Tripod lite is an interactive PDF. It contains a barrier-based visual representation of the incident (a Swiss cheese model) which the user can populate electronically or by hand in a printout. By clicking on the numbered steps in the diagram, the tool provides all the guidance necessary to carry out an incident analysis. Drop down categories can be used to classify causes for multi-incident analysis, and the tool activity encourages you to make recommendations for failed barriers, and short- and long-term recommendations to address the causes.

There is also a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet version, which offers more flexibility for more advanced users, including the ability to customise the drop-down menus and record more barriers and causes.

Expected publication Q1 2023