Accident Investigation
Session Objectives
You will be able to:
• Understand your role in the investigation
process
• Gather facts
• Talk to witnesses
• Determine causal factors
• Identify corrective actions
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Why Investigate
Accidents?
• Determine the root cause
• Identify corrective actions
• Prevent the accident from happening again
• Document the accident
• Complete OSHA-required reporting
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OSHA Wants to Know
• Employee fatality—notify OSHA in 8 hours
• Three employees hospitalized—notify
OSHA
• Document each injury
• Record injuries on OSHA 300 Log
• Post OSHA 300 Log
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
You Have Key Roles
• Report any accident or near-miss
immediately
• As a witness, describe what you observed
• Provide your knowledge of normal operating
practices in the situation
• Suggest corrective actions
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Accident Investigation
Team
• Employees trained to
•
•
•
•
•
investigate accidents
Safety committee
member
Supervisor
Safety manager
Production manager
Plant manager
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Investigator’s
Qualifications
• Understand important role of accident
investigation
• Have authority and accountability
• Have skills to evaluate the incident
• Communicate details
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Why Investigate and Your
Role—Any Questions
• Any questions about
why we need to
investigate accidents
or your role in the
investigation process?
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Investigate All Accidents
• Workplace fatality
• Lost time from the job
•
•
•
•
or days away from
work
Restricted ability to
work
Medical treatment
First aid
Near-miss incidents
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
When to Investigate?
• Immediately after
incident
• Interview witnesses
before memories fade
• Assess the scene
before clues are
moved
• Finish investigation
quickly
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Accident Investigation Is
Like a Police Investigation
• Check the scene
•
•
•
•
before anything has
been moved
Assemble evidence
Interview the witnesses
Not looking for a
criminal; not trying to
place blame on anyone
Find what, why, and
how
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
The Accident Occurs
• Employee immediately reports the accident
to a supervisor
• Supervisor treats the injury or assesses
need for outside medical treatment
• Accident scene is left intact
• Supervisor contacts the accident
investigation team
• If able, injured employee completes incident
form
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Beginning the Investigation
• Get the investigation kit
• Team reports to the
scene
• Look at the big
picture
• Record initial
observations
• Take pictures
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Investigation Kit
• Camera
• Report forms,
•
•
•
•
•
clipboard, pens
Barricade tape
Flashlight
Tape measure
Tape recorder
Work gloves
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Any Questions?
• Any questions about
what and when to
investigate or the
investigation kit?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Questions that Need
Answers
• What happened?
• When did it happen?
• Where did it happen?
• Who was involved?
• How did it happen?
• Why did it happen?
• How can we keep it
from happening again?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Fact Gathering
• Name of injured and
involved employees
• Name of witnesses
• Date and time of the
incident
• Work shift information
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Fact Gathering (cont.)
• General location of the incident
• Specific location of involved employees
• Normal job duties and training
• Type of injury and body part injured
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Fact Gathering (cont.)
• Machines, tools, or
equipment
• Chemicals involved
• Environmental
conditions
• Production schedule
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Interviewing Witnesses
• Interview witnesses one at a time
• Convey your desire to prevent accidents
• Encourage witness to describe the accident
in his or her own words
• Discuss what happened leading up to and
after the accident
• Use open-ended questions
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Sequence of Events
• Events leading up to
the incident
• Describe events of the
incident
• Events that happened
immediately after the
incident
• Draw a chart of the
events
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Incident Description
• Details so reader can
clearly picture the
incident
• Specific body parts
affected
• Specific motions of
injured employee just
before, during, and
after incident
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Any Questions?
• Any questions about
gathering facts,
interviewing witnesses,
or describing the
incident?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Causal Factors
• Try not to accept single cause theory
• Identify underlying causes
• Primary cause
• Secondary causes
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Corrective Actions
• Immediate corrective actions
• Recommended corrective actions
• Employee training
• Preventive maintenance activities
• Better job procedures
• Hazard recognition
• Engineering or administrative changes
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Completed Report
• Signed by investigation
team members
• Signed by injured
employee
• Forwarded to
management
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Causes and Corrective
Actions—Any Questions?
• Any questions about
finding causal factors
or implementing
corrective actions?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
Key Points to Remember
• Accident investigations prevent other
accidents
• Investigate accidents immediately
• Gather all the facts
• Interview witnesses one at a time
• Record detailed description
• Determine causal factors
• Conduct corrective actions
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0603
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