The Swiss Cheese Model is one which describes accident causation as a series of events which must occur in a specific order and manner for an accident to occur. A stack of unique individual slices of cheese is analogous to an organisational system – where each layer contains a gap.
Accidents occur when a process falls through each of the gaps in each layer – described by the transformation of hazards to accidents. There are two types of gaps – latent and active failures. Latent gaps are existing problems inherent in the system, and active ones are the acute failures that lead to an accident.
This model is useful in tracking root causes for failures and help in identifying risks before they become issues.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.” ~ John Ruskin
Oh and the inventor of this approach is a University of Manchester graduate … ahem ahem …