TRIPOD is a new approach to safety which stresses the importance of underlying factors in the causation of accidents. A diagnostic instrument, the Failure State Profile, has been developed using checklists of concrete indicators related to a specific set of General Failure Types identified as underlying accidents in exploration and production activities. The predictive validity of such a profile can be checked against analyses of actual accidents to see if the same pattern of underlying causes is revealed. This paper shows that the checklist-based Failure State Profile is a good predictor and can be used to help managers set priorities and allocate resources in order to optimise safety.

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