Inderscience Publishers

Emergency and crisis exercises: Methodology for understanding safety dimensions

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A qualitative methodology developed for emergency exercises analysis is presented. The methodology is a collaborative one, involving a team of specialised observers. Each of them collects video data in one of the different 'sites' involved (e.g., the field, the crisis centre(s), expert cells, etc.) or on one crisis management activity. Using a situated approach, the methodology gives us the opportunity to better understand the individual and organisational dynamics of crisis management organisations. In comparison with the a posteriori methodologies used in accident investigation, our approach gives access to the complexity and granularity of interactions. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it describes the complementarities between the methods of accident investigation and ours. Secondly, it analyses the way the method can be used to improve the safety and reliability of crisis management organisations.

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