Tripod Beta Analysis in Incident Investigation

Tripod Beta Methodology

The tripod method is a way of conducting incident analysis. It is mostly used for high risk, complex incidents, since it is a very extensive and detailed method. Training is highly recommended when using this method.

A Tripod Beta tree is built in three steps :

  1. The first step is to ask the question: ‘what happened?’. All the events that happened in the incident are listed as a chain of events.
  2. The next step is to identify the barriers that failed to stop this chain of events. The question that is asked in this step is: ‘How did it happen?’. When all the events and the failed barriers in between are identified, the reason for failure of these barriers is analyzed.
  3. The last question for this step is: ‘Why did it happen?’. For each of the failed barriers a causation path is identified.


History of Tripod Beta
Course Objectives
For Whom
Other Details

Early Development


Tripod Beta was developed by Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. as the result of Shell-funded academic research in the 1980s and 1990s. Such research contributed towards the development of the Swiss cheese model of accident causation, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s, towards the development of the Hearts and Minds safety culture toolkit.


Research originally focused on the causes of accidents, in order to determine whether the causes of accidents could be known before accidents actually occur. This would later become the basis for Tripod Delta. Following the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster, focus within Shell switched from predicting accidents to accident prevention and accident investigation and analysis. Two software-based tools were developed: BowTie and Tripod Beta, respectively.


Stitching Tripod Foundation


In 1998, following publicity of Tripod Beta, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. transferred copyright of the Tripod Beta methodology to the Stitching Tripod Foundation, a charitable body under Dutch law. The Foundation's purpose is to promote best practice in industry through the sensible usage of Tripod technologies to aid in the understanding and prevention of accidents and incidents.


In 2012 the Foundation partnered with the Energy Institute in the UK in order to help achieve this. The Energy Institute currently publishes the official guide on using the Tripod Beta methodology. The Stitching Tripod Foundation also accredits approved training courses, and assesses the competence of users of the Tripod methodology. Users who are assessed as competent in Tripod Beta are accredited as 'Tripod Practitioners'. Khalil Safety Consultant trainers' are certified Tripod Practitioners accredited by The Energy Institute.


Source : Tripod Beta Development

Tripod Beta Analysis in Incident Investigation participant will be able :


  1. To understand the principle of accident and how an accident can be prevented.
  2. To understand the essential elements involve in an accident.
  3. To understand the principle of incident and accident investigation.
  4. To be able to carry out an effective accident investigation.
  5. To be able to analyse an incident using a Tripod Beta method.
  6. To serve as a continuous education for competent person (SHO).

Topics that will be discussed during the course are :

  • Tripod Beta history
  • Theory concept
  • Tripod development background and basic philosophy
  • Development of effective incident report from past event
  • Hands-on Investigator 3 software (free trial version)

This course is suitable for safety practitioners such as :

  • Safety and Health Officers
  • Safety / Production Managers
  • Safety and Health Committee
  • Security Officers
  • Supervisors
  • Technicians
  • Safety Trainers

Course Duration

  • 2-days training from 9.00am to 5.00pm

CEP Points

  • 10 CEP Points

CCD Points

  • N/A

HRDF Claimable

  • Yes