Better Accident Investigations through Storytelling Part II: The Saga Continues

  • June 15, 2021
    4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Capturing the “story” of an accident through Interviews is one of the most important tasks during an accident investigation.

However, effective interviewing that allows the sequence of events to be accurately captured takes more than just simply asking a series of questions.

In this presentation we will discuss the complexities of human memory and how to best allow an interviewee to accurately remember and retell their story.

Topics to be covered include:

• How the human mind processes memory

• Why you can’t always trust witness testimony, even when witnesses aren’t lying

• How to help an accident witness or victim tell their story using cognitive interviewing

• Better questions to ask then “Why”

Jennifer Serne is an Assistant Professor in the Safety Health Management program at Central Washington University.  She teaches classes covering Hazardous Materials Management, Fire Safety, Incident Investigation, Emergency Response, Construction and Manufacturing Safety, Safety Analysis Systems, and Ergonomics and Human Factors. Previously, she worked for 20 years in the safety industry in research safety, pharmaceutical safety, radiation safety, and emergency response and was the lead inspector of medical and research facilities using radioactive materials in Washington State. She has also been an independent fatality investigator, serving various clients in 36 states and 6 countries. She has a Masters in Safety Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is working towards her Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Human Factors.

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