Timeline tool to help you handle deviations – Finnish Transport Agency

What are the key HOF issues?

The aim of a comprehensive handling of safety incidents is to find the root causes of the incident. Once these are known, development measures can be planned and implemented to prevent similar incidents or to reduce the likelihood of their recurrence.

For the handling of a safety incident, the Agency recommends the use of a timeline tool, which is a way of describing the incident step by step. The tool provides a description and an overview of the incident and its preceding and subsequent phases, identifies successes and failures associated with the phases and the factors that contributed to them, and highlights the necessary improvement measures.

The timeline tool is also well suited for evaluating the success of a project, for example. Below is an example of a blank timeline template.

What did you do?

The Public Roads Agency has published a “Good Practice – Reporting and Handling of Safety Incidents guide ”  “Hyvä käytäntö – turvallisuuspoikkeamien ilmoittaminen ja käsittely” -oppaan, which is intended to serve as a practical tool for those involved in the handling of a safety incident. The description provides support on how to handle safety incidents by identifying the steps leading up to the incident and the factors contributing to the successes and failures behind them, in the spirit of a just culture.

What were the results?

The timeline helps to understand what happened from a broader perspective than just that of the individual. Describing the event on a timeline also provides a natural way of discussing the case together and learning from what happened. It also helps to illustrate that there is not just one single cause for the unpleasant events that have occurred. In addition, by identifying success stories, the reasons for these events can be better understood and reinforced.

Author: Pia Sotavalta (Vayla)