Systems thinking-based risk assessment methods applied to sports performance: A comparison of STPA, EAST-BL, and Net-HARMS in the context of elite women's road cycling

Adam Hulme, Scott McLean, Clare Dallat, Guy H. Walker, Patrick Waterson, Neville A. Stanton, Paul M. Salmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is increasing interest in applying systems Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) methods in sport. Risk assessment (RA) methods can be used identify risks which may impact the performance of individual athletes, teams, and overall sports systems; however, they have not yet been tested in sport. This study sets out to apply and compare three systems thinking-based RA methods in the context of elite sports performance and report on the frequency and types of the risks identified. The Systems-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) method, the Event Analysis of Systemic Teamwork Broken Links (EAST-BL) method, and the Networked Hazard Analysis and Risk Management System (Net-HARMS) method were applied to elite women's road cycling to identify all the credible risks that could degrade optimal team performance. The findings demonstrate that all three methods appear to provide useful results in a context other than safety, and that multiple risks threatening the performance of the cycling team were identified. Whilst the frequency and types of risks differed across the methods applied, there are additional theoretical, methodological, and practical implications to be considered prior to the selection and use of systems thinking-based RA approaches. Recommendations and directions for future HFE and sports science research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103297
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume91
Early online date5 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Nov 2020

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