Review effective elements for workplace responses to critical incidents and suicide: A rapid review

Tania Pearce, Lyndal Bugeja, Sarah Wayland, Myfanwy Maple

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Despite high rates of critical incidents (CIs) in working class occupations, there is a significant gap in our understanding of responses to these events. In this study, we aimed to inform a response training module by synthesising the key elements of pre-, during-and post-incident responses to CIs and suicide in the workplace. A rapid review identified studies on responses to CIs or suicide deaths in the workplace published between January 2015 and June 2020. A systematic search of six databases (Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Sociology Collection, Academic Search and Business Search Complete) and grey literature was performed. Studies were excluded if the focus was on non-colleagues. Two reviewers independently conducted record screening, a review of the full text and assessed study quality. The existing evidence was synthesised and interventions were categorised using Haddon’s Matrix. Five studies were included, reporting on CIs across a range of workplace settings, including railways, factories, police and military, along with external critical response units. Overall, study quality was assessed as being poor. Most of the evidence focused on the pre-incident and post-incident stage. There is little evidence on responses to CIs in the workplace. Evidence-based education and training is necessary to establish organisational responses to assist with supporting workers exposed to workplace CIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4821
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Critical incident
  • Rapid review
  • Suicide
  • Workplace interventions

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