Accidents are unplanned and unexpected events that cause injury, property damage, and/or financial loss in the workplace. Incidents or “near misses” don’t result in loss or a claim report, but are just as important to investigate.
Here are some more tips:
- Develop an investigation procedure ready and train your employees how to use it.
- Conduct a thorough investigation that identifies root causes will help to prevent similar events from happening again.
- There are many methods of root cause analysis to choose from; no matter the method, be sure to answer these important questions: What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? What needs to be corrected?
- Keeping the investigation focused on fact finding in a neutral, non-confrontational manner identifies the true attitudes, behaviors, and other factors that led to the problem. Accident/Incident investigation should not be used to blame, punish or exonerate workers and managers; true facts will not emerge in this environment. If you investigate an accident just to complete paperwork and satisfy insurance requirements, you will erode the trust of your employees and jeopardize your goal of accident prevention and loss reduction.
- A supervisor in the affected area is the best person to conduct an investigation because they are most familiar with the tools, equipment, and people involved. Experts in equipment, outside agencies, and other technical resources may also be needed.
Six steps to a thorough investigation
Always report workplace injury accidents to your carrier right away, and then immediately begin your investigation.
- Start your investigation by reviewing our investigation overview to for tips on contributing factors to consider, interviewing witnesses, assessing physical conditions, and checklist, and more. You can record your findings on State Fund’s Accident/Near-Miss Event Investigation checklist. This form does not replace the Employers First Report of Occupational Injury or Disease (DWC-1) claim report.
- Secure the scene, placing equipment out of service if necessary, and take photos.
- Interview victims and witnesses.
- Collect evidence and records, and document your observations on the form.
- Find the contributing factors to determine the accident’s root cause.
- Document the recommended corrective actions, the people assigned to complete them, and a due date for completion.
Then just print out the form and you’ve got an investigation report for your records.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.