What is ICAM?

The ICAM methodology provides the following logic towards incident and accident causation and supports the notion that most incidents and accidents are caused rarely by a single act or condition, but rather by a number of factors working together.

ICAM Category 1: Organizational Factors

Organisational factors are those aspects which can be implicated in producing the task/environmental conditions, individual or team actions, or absent/failed defences that have allowed the incident or accident to happen.

These factors usually arise from organisational shortcomings which produce adverse conditions in the workplace. They can be hard to detect at times until combined with other local conditions such as leadership issues or errors in planning etc.

As the name implies, organisational factors are controlled by the organisation itself and improvement of those factors can only be achieved through the utilisation and constant upkeep of the management systems in place.

ICAM Category 2: Task & Environmental Conditions

Task and environmental conditions are those conditions in existence immediately prior to or at the time of the incident that directly influence human and equipment performance in the workplace.

ICAM Category 3: Individual & Team Actions

The ICAM code describes these as errors or violations that led directly to the incident. They are typically associated with personnel such as operators and maintainers having direct contact with equipment or material. They are always committed ‘actively’ (someone did or didn’t do something) and have a direct relation with the incident’.

ICAM Category 4: Absent Failed defences

Absent or failed defences are described as the ‘last minute measures which did not prevent the outcome of the incident or mitigate/reduce its consequences’.

The ICAM guide lists these as: detection systems, protection systems, warning systems, guards or barriers, recovery, escape, rescue, safety device operation, personal protective equipment, hazard identification and control systems.

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