Understanding and Preventing Led Outdoor Accidents Data System

A theory driven approach to injury surveillance and prevention

For more info:

+61 7 5456 5288

Understanding and Preventing Led Outdoor Accidents Data System (UPLOADS) is a sector-wide incident reporting system that was first deployed in organisations across Australia in 2014. It was developed to address the lack of good quality data on injuries and incidents during led outdoor (LOA) activities. UPLOADS uses a System’s Thinking approach and provides a standardised, national approach to incident report and learning for the LOA Sector.

The UPLOADS App is a web-based application and can be accessed from any computer, and this can be done offline. It is used to record: incident reports; LOA participation data; and action plans used to address identified problems. LOA providers are encouraged to use the UPLOADS App to collect and analyse detailed information to detect trends and formulate data-driven incident prevention strategies. The system can also automatically generate reports on your incident data, saving you time.

Other benefits of using the app are:

  • Offline reporting from your tablet or phone.
  • User friendly incident analysis and generation of reports.
  • Industry benchmarking to compare your incident data to other similar organisations.

Organisations that participate in the UPLOADS Research project are asked to submit de-identified (which has the names of participants, staff members and the organisation removed) incident and participation data to the National Incident Dataset (NID).

When all LOA providers submit their data to the NID, it forms a repository of information that will used by the research team to analyse incidents, contributory factors, and participation data from a national perspective and provide reports to the LOA sector about the:

  • frequency on incidents associated with different types of LOA
  • characteristics of incidents, injuries, and illnesses that occur during LOA
  • network of contributory factors involved in incident causation.

By understanding what incidents are occurring and what contributory factors are involved, we will ultimately understand how to prevent incidents from occurring again.

Use of the UPLOADS app is free to all Australian LOA organisations until 2021!

The UPLOADS Project Team need as many LOA organisations to participate as possible to ensure that the NID outputs provide an accurate overview of trends. If you would like to contribute to the National Incident Dataset, or would like more information, please contact the UPLOADS team at uploadsproject@usc.edu.au

The research project has received ethics approval from the University of the Sunshine Coast (approval no A/13/454).

LOA organisation size may influence incident types and severity.

This infographic from the UPLOADS Team demonstrates that incidents reported to UPLOADS differ regarding activity type, incident type, and incident severity as a function of organisation size.

Check out the infographic and see how your organisation stacks up against the UPLOADS National Incident Dataset.

Note: CLICK infographic to view full size



The aim of this project is to develop a novel injury and accident surveillance system, underpinned by the systems approach to accident causation and analysis, for the led outdoor activity industry in Australia. This involves translation of the latest thinking on accident causation in the led outdoor activity industry.


Little is currently known about the incidence of injuries during led outdoor activities in Australia, the factors that cause injuries, or the most appropriate prevention strategies for the domain. To tackle this problem, members of the Australian led outdoor activity industry are currently engaged in a program of research with the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC). Stage 1 of the program was completed in 2009, and stage 2 commenced at the end of 2011. A summary of stages 1 and 2 is given below.

Stage 1 – Problem Definition

Stage 1 – Problem Definition

Stage 1 involved a review of accident causation research in the led outdoor activity domain and an analysis of three led outdoor activity accidents. A workshop involving project stakeholders, led outdoor activity personnel, and researchers from MUARC was then held to disseminate the research findings and determine the most appropriate way forward for the subsequent phases of the research. Based on recommendations arising from the report and workshop, an ARC linkage grant was developed for Phase 2, which received funding at the end of 2011.

Stage 2 – Incident database development and validation

Stage 2 – Incident database development and validation

Stage 2 involved the development and trialling of an incident database for the led outdoor activity industry. This involves the following phases of research:

  • Incident database development. Prototype incident reporting, storage and analysis methods, including robust data coding and classification systems, will be developed based on incident reports from the led outdoor activity sector. These methods will together form a prototype incident database;
  • Prototype database refinement. The prototype database will be trialled by a small number of led outdoor activity providers for 6 months. The lessons learnt during this period will be used to refine the database;
  • In-depth incident study. The refined incident database will be utilised by a large cross section of led outdoor activity providers in order to conduct an in-depth study of injury causing incidents over 12 months; and
  • Accident causation model development. Based on the findings derived from the former phases, a systems-based model of accident causation for the led outdoor activity domain will be developed. This model will be used by the industry to guide injury prevention efforts.
UPLOADS: An overview

UPLOADS: An overview

An early presentation on the planned development of the UPLOADS

Literature Review & Exploratory Analysis

UPLOADS: Literature Review & Exploratory Analysis

While the exact rate of incidence is unknown (due to the paucity of exposure data), it is acknowledged
that safety compromising accidents and incidents occur in the led outdoor activity domain, and that
they represent an important issue. Despite this, compared to other safety critical domains, very little is
currently known about the key causal factors involved in such accidents and incidents. This report
presents the findings derived from a review of the literature, the aim of which was to identify the
Human Factors-related issues involved in accidents and incidents occurring in this area. In addition, to
demonstrate the utility of systems-based, theoretically underpinned accident analysis methodologies
for identifying the systemic and human contribution to accidents and incidents occurring in the led
outdoor activity domain, three case-study accidents were analysed using two such approaches. In
conclusion, the review identified a range of causal factors cited in the literature; however, it was noted
that the majority of the research undertaken to date lacks theoretical underpinning and focuses mainly
on instructor or activity leader causal factors, as opposed to the wider system failures involved. The
accident analysis presented highlighted the utility of systems-based, theoretically underpinned
accident analysis methodologies for analysing and learning from accidents and incidents in the led
outdoor activity sector. In closing, the need for further research in the area is articulated, in particular
focussing on the development of standardised and universally accepted accident and incident reporting
systems and databases, the development of data driven, theoretically underpinned causal factor
taxonomies, and the development and application of systems-based accident analysis methodologies.


UPLOADS Key Issue Report: Campcraft

UPLOADS Key Issue Report: Campcraft

The UPLOADS project team released their first Key Issue Report in May 2016, which uncovered a rather surprising result. Campcraft activities (e.g. cooking and campfires) had the second highest injury-causing incidence rate, with walking/running in the outdoors as the highest injury-causing incidence rate.


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