The only up-side to an accident is to perform a thorough study of it with hopes of preventing any more like it. This is why the accident investigation process is so important. It needs a structured, standard approach. This means having standard instructions in place and followed for all accident investigations. Your guide should outline from start to finish what to do for the accident investigation. Keep it simple and easy to follow.
Accident investigation structure example:
- Fill out accident report form including statement from injured worker and witnesses
- Visit accident site: address any exposed hazards. This might require a short term fix
- Collect evidence from accident site (include taking pictures)
- Review all evidence and perform root cause analysis
- Complete the report including the root cause and new control measure and file as needed
- Record accident data on spread sheet to look for trends (Over the years, this data will be helpful and should show safety progress)
- Schedule 30, 60, 90 day reviews on control measure to make sure it is effective. You’ll find this takes little time
It does not matter how big your business is. When an employee is injured or a near miss occurs, we owe it to all workers to perform the best investigation we can. We must do everything in our power to make sure all apparent safety issues are addressed.