ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Workplace Accident Investigation Procedure

Updated on August 9, 2012

When accidents occur, it must be investigated by the employer, or by those designated by that employer. This could include the safety and health executives of the firm.

It is important to have a standard investigation procedure for the firm. This is to make sure everyone is on the same page and no vital information would be missing from the investigation. Thus, having a standard, future investigator can replicate the process to a desired level.

A General Investigation Procedure

  1. Quickly establish the fact of the accident as comprehensively possible. Take note the location of the accident and the work environment, e.g. rain, blackout. Identify the plant, machinery, equipment and hazardous substances involved in the accident. Establish the standard operating procedure (SOP) with respect to the work done at the time of the accident. While focusing on the victim's SOP is important, consider the SOP of other workers who may have interacted or connected with the accident. Determine the sequence of events leading to the accident.
  2. Draw up sketches and diagrams of the accident scene.
  3. Before anything is moved or tempered with, snap a few photos. It goes without saying the importance of a fully charged digital camera or camera phone. Your equipment should be cleared by your management first.
  4. Draw up the list of witnesses. This should include the worker(s) involved in the accident, i.e. victim(s), as well as those working in the vicinity. The worker's supervisor or superiors cannot be ruled out as they were the ones responsible for the activities of their subordinates. List the witnesses.
  5. In the presence of a third party, interview all the witnesses. It may be best to interview them individually to prevent a melting pot of testimonials. Where possible, ensure that the witnesses does not have the opportunity to discuss the events or the details. Record the full statement in writing, and through a recording device. Caution the interviewee that his or her statements are being recorded. It is also crucial to have the witness go through the written statement. They must agree to it and sign and date the document.
  6. Evaluate the facts and statements of the witnesses. Keep in mind that as investigator, the values are accuracy, reliability and relevance.
  7. Conclusions must arrive at both direct and indirect causes of the accident. Ensure that these causes may be supported by the relevant facts.
  8. Contradicting information should not be dismissed. Instead, examine it closely. You may want to find out more.
  9. Examine the standard operating procedure involved. Check the variables: age, number of workers, supervision level, and nature of the work.
  10. Have a technician or engineer on standby. Their expertise may be required in examining equipment and plant.
  11. Write out the Investigation Report. It should incorporate: stages of the accident and its causes, measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Who Should Investigate

Typically, any employee may be assigned to investigate. But larger organisations may assign this role to the personnel responsible for Occupational Safety and Health.

As experience as the safety and health officer (SHO) may be, sometimes she may need assistance of a committee. The SHO may take the lead in the investigation while the committee members relay vital information and interpretation of data. This scenario is appropriate for complex and serious cases. Having such an investigation committee would cost more.

Why must the investigation be thorough?

Some accidents may reveal criminal elements being involved. It is important to report to the proper authorities, typically the police. Findings from the company's own investigation may aid the police in theirs.

In the same manner, investigation results can assist the company where civil action is initiated against or by it.

So...

Accident Investigation is an important activity which must be performed. But it's practical aim is to ensure investigations can be eliminated or be less frequent in the future. As the accident rate reduces, the number of investigation also reduces. The outcome is to ensure the workplace can contain or eliminate the hazards present.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)