Institute of Expert Witnesses

Providing specialist advice and support in accident cases

The Institute of Expert Witnesses offers professional impartial and independent advice and provides qualified expert opinions to support the legal process of resolving cases of accidents and injury.


In the first four issues of this series of blogs where our Chairman William MackayIFMGA looks at the Safe System of Training/ Operating in the Adventure Tourism sector we looked at “Safe Culture”,  “Safe Place” ,“Safe Practice” and “Safe Equipment”. What we are trying to do is see how the evidence can be analyzed against an established safe system, which we have identified as The Safe System, a model that can be referred to when considering most accidents in this sector.

To recap: The Safe System of Training/ Operating is a safety management analysis protocol the consists of 5 separate elements where the hazards have been assessed and the consequent control measures have been integrated, at a high level, into formal procedures, in order to reduce the inherent risks to as low as is reasonably practicable (within the constraints imposed by the operational imperative). Today we continue and finally look at “Safe Persons” in this overall concept; the overriding element that the operations requires to protect to a reasonably practicable level.

When looking at this element we must consider further that The Safe System of Training / operating can/ is used to evaluate the operation/ incident where the injury and/ or damage occurred and evaluate whether or not the operating culture/ organization have a:

Safe Persons. Safe persons are persons who have received appropriate information, instruction training and supervision in order to carry out a specific task.  A competent person within the Safe System is deemed competent by virtue of his/ her qualifications, currency of skills, experience and maturity, e.g. instructors/trainers. It is essential that employers provide an appropriate level of supervision, and ensure that those conducting the activity take the necessary time and pay sufficient attention to detail in order to eliminate mistakes.


IEW experts who specialise in accident investigation have used the 5 elements of the Safe System as a tool to identify what happened, how it happened and why it happened and the final element, “Safe Persons” is paramount to the operation that has a safety management system in place that contributes the overall safety of the people that matter in the process, the element that we are going to explore in the final blog of this series.


Read here the THE SAFE SYSTEM – Part I blog article.

Read here the THE SAFE SYSTEM – Part II blog article.

Read here the THE SAFE SYSTEM – Part III blog article.

Read here the THE SAFE SYSTEM – Part IV blog article.

Look out for subsequent blogs when we address the other matters that ultimately fall into the elements of the Safe System that we have looked at in this series.

For any questions regarding Safe Systems or if you need expert witness advice on a case in the Adventure Tourism industry, please do not hesitate to contact our Expert Witnesses on 0117 986 2194 or at

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