One of the best ways to avoid further accidents is to understand how an accident occurred and how to avoid this accident in the
future. The accident investigation is a tool.
The goal in an accident investigation is to:
- Satisfy legal requirements (National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Find out what happened
and determine immediate and underlying or root causes.
- Rethink the safety hazard.
- Introduce ways to prevent a reoccurrence
- Establish ways to prevent the accident in the future
An accident, a near miss and an incident should all be investigated.
Accident investigations are a tool for uncovering hazards that either were missed earlier or require new controls (policies, procedures
or personal protective equipment). Near-miss reporting and investigation identify and control safety or health hazards before they
cause a more serious incident.
When an accident occurs, do the following:
- Conduct an investigation as soon as possible following the
event to gather all the necessary facts, determine the true causes of the event, and develop recommendations to prevent a recurrence.
there as quickly as possible.
- Ensure area is safe to enter.
- Make sure injured person has first-aid or medical attention required.
- Record the scene with photos (ideally date and time printed) or sketches.
- Safeguard any evidence.
- Establish what happened.