Research Strengths

No more Avoidable Deaths from Accidents

Group: Human Factors in Complex Systems

Project: Visualising complex accident/safety theories for public engagement using story-based animations

Oct 2014- Feb 2018


Thomas Jun

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The Enterprise Office and Loughborough University


The Health Foundation


Cognitive Media


Leicestershire Improvement


Innovation and Patient Safety Unit




School of Arts


English and Drama (LU)


Manki Park


The South Korea Ferry Accident also referred to as the Sewol Ferry Disaster, occurred on the morning of 16 April 2014. The ferry capsized while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school children. In total 304 passengers and crew members died in the disaster.

This project looked at the many different contributing factors which caused the ferry accident, and as a result of the research the animation ‘‘Two Contrasting Views of the South Korea Ferry Accident’’ was created to help people understand the role of humans involved in this situation to prevent future accidents from happening.

The success of this animation has led the project team to start creation on a second systems safety animation ‘‘No more Avoidable Deaths from Accidents, Two Contrasting Futures’’ and a third animation “Accelerating systems thinking in healthcare incident investigation.”

After the disaster, many people sought to blame various individuals responsible for the many failings which led to the accident. Our research helps people understand that all the factors involved were complex and interrelated, rather than using these factors to simply assign blame.

These animations will provide essential guides to policy making, public debate and social action for safety improvement. They will be powerful education and communication tools for safety professionals by showing what a safe and resilient system would look like.

The first animation reached over 50,000 views worldwide and encourages a shift from looking at human beings as potential hazards, to looking at human beings as potential heroes, capable of solving complicated issues of safety and efficiency, to which automated systems cannot adapt.


The first animation was praised very highly:

"Excellent animation. Puts all the pieces together nicely. Fastest introduction to the "new look" in system safety you will find. " 

Richard Cook, Professor of healthcare system safety, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

 "Your animation makes the point brilliantly. Next step: Getting people to view it, digest it, and change behavior." 

Don Norman, Professor emeritus of both psychology and cognitive science, One of the world's most influential designers, USA


Two Contrasting Views of the South Korea Ferry Accident: