The main objective of an accident investigation is prevention. Uncovering the causes of an accident and taking steps to control or eliminate it can help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. Accidents can rarely be attributed to a single cause. Work environment, job constraints, supervisory or worker experience, are among many factors that can all play an integral part. To determine what role each factor had in causing the accident all must be examined carefully.
Once the causes have been established, precautions must be identified and implemented to prevent a recurrence. Investigators must always keep in mind that effective accident investigation means fact-finding rather than fault-finding.
To explain why and how an accident happened, investigators must collect information on the events that took place before and during the event. Investigators can then determine accident conditions by examining physical evidence and interviewing witnesses. Both these steps are of equal importance and should be done as soon as possible to ensure complete accident investigation. Equally important is the requirement to document the steps that were taken immediately after the accident to deal with the emergency and to begin the investigation. It also identifies the forms to be used and the procedures to be followed within specified time frames.
For an investigation to be a valuable tool in accident prevention, three things must take place:
- the information gathered must be analyzed
- corrective action must be taken
- the action must be monitored for effectiveness.
Company health and safety programs should have the following items addressed in the requirements regarding accident investigation training:
- What kinds of accidents must be investigated?
- Defines Near Miss, Incident, Accident, Critical Injury
- Defines WSIB/WCB reportable injuries vs MoL reportable injuries
- Who should investigate what?
- What training should investigators have?
- Who reviews the investigation report and follows up on any observations or recommendations?
- What should be investigated: All Lost Time Injuries? All Medical Aid Injuries? All with more than $ X in property damage? Any with a potential for serious injury or major financial loss?
Our Accident Investigation training program covers the above in a detailed manner using a variety of training aids including videos, case studies, court decisions and simulated investigations. This 12- hour course provides your employees with the tools to conduct effective investigations within the workplace in a prompt and professional manner