Accident / Incident Investigation

A primary tool every organization should be using in an effort to identify and recognize the areas responsible for accidents is a thorough and properly completed accident investigation. It should be in writing and adequately identify the cause(s) of the accident or near-miss occurrence.
Behavior Safety Associates, LLC’s professionals conduct accident investigation with the primary focus of understanding why the accident or near miss occurred, and what actions can be taken to prevent recurrence. Our team of experts works with safety directors and supervisors responsible for the affected area or employee.

Questions to ask in an accident investigation include:

1. What happened?

The investigation should describe what took place that prompted the investigation: an injury to an employee, an incident that caused a production delay, damaged material or any other conditions recognized as having a potential for losses or delays.

2. Why did the incident happen?

The investigation must obtain all the facts surrounding the occurrence: what caused the situation to occur; who was involved; was/were the employee(s) qualified to perform the functions involved in the accident or near miss; were they properly trained; were proper operating procedures established for the task involved; were procedures followed, and if not, why not; where else this or a similar situation might exist, and how it can be corrected.

3. What should be done?
The person conducting the investigation must determine which aspects of the operation or processes require additional attention. It is important to note that the purpose here is not to establish blame, but to determine what type of constructive action can eliminate the cause(s) of the accident or near miss.

4. What action has been taken?
Action already taken to reduce or eliminate the exposures being investigated should be noted, along with those remaining to be addressed. Any interim or temporary precautions should also be noted. Any pending corrective action and reason for delaying its implementation should be identified.

Corrective action should be identified in terms of not only how it will prevent a recurrence of the accident or near miss, but also how it will improve the overall operation. This will assist the investigation in selling their solutions to management. The solution should be a means of achieving not only accident control, but also total operation control.

If there is a SLT, its members should review investigations of all accidents and near-miss incidents to assist in recommending appropriate corrective actions to prevent a similar recurrence.

Thorough investigation of all accidents and near misses will help identify causes and needed corrections, and can help determine why accidents occur, where they happen, and any accident trends. Such information is critical to preventing and controlling hazards and potential accidents.