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Sharing safety information is a key issue to improve aviation safety. Therefore, it appears necessary to have a common way to describe aviation accidents/incidents in order to get consistent data that will be used to produce relevant safety indicators. This implies to use the same taxonomy, the same compatible software to facilitate data sharing, and, more important, a common method to encode occurrences into safety data. The way human factors are taken into account in the database must be improved since statistics usually provided, deal with accident/incident categories and not with their various causes (most of them are human factors related). The BEA in cooperation with the LAA has developed a methodology for the encoding and the analysis of aviation accidents and incidents. This tool has been successfully used during several investigations but still needs to be scientifically validated. This paper aims at putting safety analysis into perspective. It also discusses the methodology that incorporates the Human Factors SHELL model and a validation study.