What is an accident and why should it be investigated?
The term "accident" can be defined as an unplanned event that interrupts the completion of an activity, and that may (or may not) include injury or property damage. An incident usually refers to an unexpected event that did not cause injury or damage this time but had the potential. "Near miss" or "dangerous occurrences” are also terms for an event that could have caused harm but did not.
Reasons to investigate a workplace accident include:
Most importantly, to find out the cause of accidents and to prevent similar accidents in the future
To fulfil any legal requirements
To determine the cost of an accident
To determine compliance with applicable safety regulations
To process workers' compensation claims
Incidents that involve no injury or property damage should still be investigated to determine the hazards that should be corrected. The same principles apply to a quick inquiry of a minor incident and to the more formal investigation of a serious event.
healthandsafetymanager.ieare fully qualified and equipped to investigate all workplace accidents on behalf of clients. However, it is recommended that staff within the client company are trained in initial investigation techniques to ensure a speedy response to any event. The first 20 minutes after any accident are the most vital in determining the root cause of the accident. Therefore, management or supervisory staff will be on the scene quite quickly and are well placed to initiate an investigation.
The link below gives an example of one of our training handouts from an accident investigation workshop.