COMET Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis


COMET is a unique methodology, training package and online solution for incident investigation, root cause analysis and prevention. Created by professional investigators with major incident experience, it enables you to solve issues and maximise performance.

COMET is used in the automotive, maritime, oil & gas, aerospace, manufacturing, rail and pharmaceutical industries. Watch COMET in action…

Traditional root cause analysis tends to divert effort to analysis based on less than rigorous investigation, resulting in uncoordinated or skewed preventive actions. The COMET process is unique. It recognises that emphasis on the ‘Discover’ phase of event investigation generates high quality input data and gives you a solid foundation for making sound decisions for future prevention.

COMET’s approach leads to real root causes being revealed and confident decisions being made about future preventive actions.

COMET’s unique methodology

The elements that guide an incident investigator towards an effective, consistent outcome


The COMET process begins by populating the Significant Investigation Data (SID) Grid, enabling you to focus on uncovering all the relevant facts and data to form the basis of a rigorous investigation. Having identified the incident or problem statement, the investigator builds a timeline supported by data gathered with the help of COMET investigation prompts – evidence gathering checklists covering scene management, equipment failure, documents, personnel and witness interviews.

DISCOVER: Barrier Evaluation

Understanding the barriers or control measures that are designed to protect your people, assets and reputation is the first step in Barrier Evaluation. Pinpointing barriers or control measures, which failed or were missing, is key to understanding the cause of an incident. Using COMET Root App, COMET Lenses are applied across incident types (safety, environment, equipment, business, quality, security) to recognise the relevant barriers or control measures. Barriers and control measures can be configured to your organisation’s operating environment.

DISCOVER: Change Evaluation

Understanding adverse change or difference that contributed to the cause of an incident is key in any investigation. COMET Change Evaluation helps you to focus effort across six key areas where adverse change may have contributed to the failure – people, equipment, time, environment, management
and regime.


COMET Factors are the errors, failures or shortfalls that directly contributed to the incident / performance loss or made its consequences worse. The identification of COMET Factors is pivotal to the accurate selection of root causes. They enable you to identify what went wrong before root causes reveal why things went wrong.

Where a COMET Factor has an element of human error, COMET’s human factors (HF) analysis tool helps the investigator identify the first failure stage, what Performing Influencing Factors (PIFs) contributed to the error and ultimately identifies the most appropriate preventive actions.

COMET is the first commercially available investigation and root cause analysis methodology to include HF analysis.


Root causes are revealed by analysing COMET Factors across COMET’s five unique Root Maps…

Operating environment

…to discover how each of these organisational areas influenced the incident / performance loss. COMET Root Maps help you to pinpoint why things went wrong by guiding you to the most relevant root causes from a pre-defined and coded list of 62.


Contact Us to discuss COMET