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.

Institute of Expert Witnesses


In the first of this series of blogs where our Chairman William Mackay IFMGA looks at the Safe System of training/ operating in the Adventure Tourism sector we looked at “Safe Culture”. 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 accident in this sector. 

To recap: The Safe System of Training/ Operating is a safety management analysis protocol the consists of 4 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). The 4 elements of the Safe System has had recently a fifth element “Safe Culture” introduced, and we looked at that in the first of our 5 blog series. Today we continue and look at “Safe Place” in this overall concept.

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 Place. A safe place is one in which the controls necessary to enable authorised activities to be conducted safely have been identified by a site-specific risk assessment and directed through appropriate safety management operating procedure (HSE guidance in this action). In most potentially high risk activities Dynamic (on-going) risk assessments are inherent methodical tasks that instructors, supervisors and competent participants continually undertake during the entire course of the activity.     

IEW experts who specialise in accident investigation have used the 4 elements of the Safe System as a tool to identify what happened, how it happened and why it happened and the safe place is paramount to the operation and is a key stone to the other elements we are going to explore in future blogs. 

 Look out for subsequent blogs when we address the other elements of the Safe System.

An article signed by our Chairman, William Duncan MacKay IFMGA, ISIA & FRGS.

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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