Dr Geoff Dell, PhD has been working in safety for more than 40 years. His early career was as an air safety investigator with Trans Australia Airlines. At the time of the merger with Qantas in 1992 he had been nominated by the CEO to head the Australian Airlines Operational Safety Department. After the merger with Qantas, Dr Dell worked in several senior safety management roles in Qantas.
After leaving Qantas in 1996 he established Protocol Safety Management P/L delivering consulting services to corporate Boards and Government agencies. He has conducted many major accident investigations, audits and completed safety management systems development and implementation projects across most industries, including aviation, road, rail, maritime, construction, manufacturing, mining, petrochemical and power generation. Dr Dell has also completed many expert witness investigations and reports for the Coronial, Criminal and Civil Courts in Australia.
Dr Dell’s previous Board-level appointments include:
· National President of the Safety Institute of Australia, the 4000-member association of safety professionals (nine years).
· Independent Safety Adviser to the Cobham Aviation Services Board of Directors (10 years).
· Chairman of the Nauru Airlines Board safety Committee (2 years)
· Secretary of the Australasian Airlines Flight Safety Committee (8 years).
· Chairman of the Australian Dangerous Goods Air Transport Council (7 years)
· Co-Chair of the Australian Advisory Committee of the Washington DC based Flight Safety
Foundation (3 years).
· Director of the Aviation Safety Foundation of Australia (3 years).
Dr Dell has also been Head of Safety for the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 Avalon International Airshows and was inaugural safety compliance manager for the Australian Synchrotron nuclear particle accelerator (2 years) and Safety Compliance Manager for the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Engineering and Infrastructure Project (3 years).
In 2010 Dr Dell joined CQUniversity as an Associate Professor to develop and launch the globally unique Bachelor of Accident Forensics and Master of Safety Science degree with a series of Majors including Road Safety Investigation, Aviation Safety Investigation, Rails Safety Investigation and Occupational Safety Investigation. This work also involved creating the world’s first truly multi-modal accident investigation teaching laboratory at the University’s Bundaberg Campus.
Dr Dell is widely published, a sought-after speaker at safety science conferences here and overseas, and a favourite of the global television, radio and print media to comment on safety and accident investigation matters with major public interest. His own area of specialist interest and teaching is in accident analysis, modelling and the application of logic and reasoning in ‘proving’ causation.
Dr Dell is fed up with the blame the driver (operator or pilot) approach to regulatory investigations in Australia. The media and authorities very nearly always jump to a blame the driver conclusion even before investigations have been commenced. Most investigations are shallow, ignore contributory factors and those factors seriously impacting on driver behaviour, performance and outcomes. As a result, the same accidents occur time and again and very little changes for the better occur. There is a need to shift the emphasis and establish new investigation paradigms which explore systemic causes to crashes so that real and effective interventions can be determined and implemented.