Kelvin TOP-SET®

What We Do | Business Model | Investigations

Investigating in Brazil
David Ramsay

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The philosophy of the company is prevention through investigation. However, while the perception of investigation is that it is about nasty accidents where people have been injured or killed, the reality is fortunately often quite different. Yes, we do look at very serious incidents from fatal explosions in factories to the Gulf of Mexico, Deepwater Horizon tragedy, but much of what we do is to look at technical and sometimes business failures. Many non injurious incidents have potential losses and while the primary focus of much of our work is related to safety there are many cases where we have examined other problems from ship propulsion difficulties to building project control.

At TOP-SET® we do the following main things:

  • Teach the TOP-SET® methodology to individuals and companies all around the world. To do this we use highly skilled and experienced tutors supported by very high quality materials.
  • Licence companies to deliver TOP-SET® within their own companies, again supported by a wide range of printed and video materials. Each in-house tutor first has extensive development by our senior teaching consultants.
  • Investigate incidents on behalf of clients. The work that we do is always independent  and supported by a full report with charts, diagrams and where appropriate, photographs. As part of our philosophy of good communications, the reports are always accompanied by a personal presentation by a lead consultant. We encourage as many of the involved personal as possible to be present at these presentations. Interestingly, we once had some resistance to this from a client in the railway sector but after the presentation he said "I was impressed that I would never do this another way".
  • Facilitate investigations. In some cases the client wishes, understandably to have their own investigation team and team leader and we at TOP-SET® will supply one or more specialist to run the process. Such an example was with the Deepwater Horizon Incident where we had up to seven investigation and IT specialists working with the client for many months.
  • Develop and produce software. Through our 50% owned Dutch subsidiary, TOP-SET® Governors we have some highly innovative and intuitive software. BlackBox®is a straightforward and very easy to use program for smaller incidents and near hits/misses that enables the user to produce a report supported by a simple cause tree in about 40 minutes. Investigator 3® is a fully comprehensive investigation program for larger incidents and it also compiles all findings automatically into a full report including a root cause diagram or if the user prefers a Tripod methodology tree.  Investigator 3®can be customised to meet individual client needs and can extract from and feedback to Microsoft SharePoint. New developments are underway including linking to other appropriate software including risk analysis and tracking programs.

Our preferred charity is Mercy Corp. You can find out more on their website at