A System Dynamics Analysis of the Westray Mine Disaster

David L. Cooke
Adjunct Associate Professor
Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary


This presentation describes a system dynamics analysis of safety management, using the Westray mine disaster as an example. The paper examines the causal structure of the Westray system, including relationships that could have led to conditions that caused the fatal explosion at the mine. The value of simulation is its ability to capture a "mental model of the safety system that can stimulate discussion among safety experts as to the systemic causes of a disaster. System dynamics modeling provides a tool to gain valuable insight into the complex web of causes that can lead to disaster.

Biographical Notes

David L. Cooke is Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management in the Haskayne School of Business and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He has a PhD and MBA in Operations Management from the University of Calgary and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, England. Prior to his doctorate, Dr. Cooke enjoyed a long career in the chemical industry in the areas of process engineering, business and product development, technical services management and safety management. He was formerly the Director of Safety and Emergency Planning with NOVA Chemicals Corporation. His research interests include safety management, system dynamics, and OM/OR applications in health care.

Februar 23, 2009

Park Town Hotel, Maple Room

Cocktails 5:30, Dinner 6:00, Presentation 7:00

Tickets $20

For more information contact:

Kent Kostuk 244-3295 k.kostuk@fcl.ca

Winfried Grassmann, 966-4898 grassman@cs.usask.ca