An AcciMap is used to analyse the contributing factors of accidents at all levels of the system
An AcciMap can also be utilised to formulate safety recommendations.
The AcciMap approach involves the construction of a multi-layered causal diagram in which the various causes of an accident are arranged according to their causal remoteness from the outcome (depicted at the bottom of the diagram). The most immediate causes are shown in the lower sections of the diagram, with more remote causes shown at progressively higher levels, so that the full range of factors that contributed to the event are modelled.
The precise format of the diagram varies depending on the purpose of analysis, but the lower levels typically represent the immediate precursors to the event, relating to the activities of workers and to physical events, processes and conditions that contributed to the outcome. The next highest levels typically represent company and organisational-level factors. The highest levels generally incorporate governmental or societal-level causal factors, which are external to the organisation(s) involved in the event. Compiling the multiple contributing factors and their interrelationships into a single logical diagram in this way helps analysts understand how and why the event took place and pinpoints problem areas that can be addressed to improve system safety.