The Australian Institute of Health & Safety has awarded its first-ever international Honorary Fellowship to Lois Hutchinson in recognition of her major contribution to safety in New Zealand and internationally as Chief Executive of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) since 2005.
AIHS College of Fellows Chair, Mr Kym Bills said: “Lois Hutchison is being recognised for outstanding safety leadership through professional investigator training, systemic analysis of safety data, a collegiate approach with other members of the International Transportation Safety Association and investigation assistance to New Zealand’s neighbours in the Pacific region.”
Mr Bills said, “while TAIC will always be a small investigation body compared with International Transport Safety Association members in larger countries like the US National Transportation Safety Board and even the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Lois has ensured that it has a world-class investigation capacity that can integrate with others should a major accident occur.”
TAIC specialist investigators, all having had further training at Cranfield University, have been deployed to assist in independent investigations for Pacific Island states that do not have independent investigative capabilities such as with ship sinkings in Kiribati and Tonga.
Ms. Hutchinson has developed TAIC’s capacity to undertake system-wide investigations by monitoring accident trends and targeting resources to repetitive or similar occurrences. In the aviation sector, this has helped reduce helicopter accidents in NZ’s alpine tourist regions. A similar approach has led to a focus on rail/pedestrian/level crossing occurrences where accident trends have indicated a lack of attention by individuals crossing the tracks.
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