Work related accidents such as tissue damage, burns, trips, falls, fractures, loss of sight or loss of limbs can happen anywhere to anyone. However, such accidents can be prevented if proper measures are taken to eliminate dangerous work conditions prevalent in a workplace. Therefore, it is critical to investigate any and every accident occurring within the workplace.
An initial accident investigation is essential because—
- It helps you investigate the root cause of the accident.
- Reveals how, when, where and why did the accident occur and who was involved in the accident.
- Helps management take corrective decisions after identifying the environmental, physical and administrative hazards that were previously ignored.
- Helps identify the necessity of continued safety training.
Once an accident takes place, it is crucial to follow the process of accident investigation. The key focus is to find out as many details as possible that were directly responsible for the accident in order to prevent similar accidents occurring in the future. On the basis of the investigation employees and managers who witnessed the incident or were involved in it should provide an account of the event in black and white.
Accident investigation should be performed as soon as an accident takes place. Once an accident occurs, it is the responsibility of the supervisors to take care of the situation before contacting the appropriate personal. The supervisors should also be required to take detailed notes of the accident as they are responsible for providing workers with a healthy and safe workplace. Supervisors should also schedule a meeting with the wounded worker and those who are witness to the incident for detailed reports. By demonstrating their concern for the safety of the workers and by taking effective measures to prevent accidents at the workplace, supervisors and workers will form a tighter bond while in the organization together.
While carrying out initial accident investigation, one should remember:
- Uphold objectivity throughout the entire investigation process.
- The purpose of the initial accident investigation is to reveal the cause of the accident rather NOT to blame each other for its occurrence.
- The site of accident should be checked thoroughly.
- The series of events leading up to the accident should be discussed with the injured worker after providing him with medical treatment.
- Even the smallest detail may lead you to the actual cause of the accident.
- It should be a priority to find all hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
Once you identify the cause of the accident, steps should be taken to eliminate all hazardous conditions that were the cause of the accident. An EHS (environment, health, and safety plan) can assist you when deciding on the intensity of action that may be required to get rid of the perilous conditions.
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Girija Shaffer , CEO & Founder of Auspice Risk, has developed a full suite of customized risk management services offered nationally to Risk Managers, Insurance Program Managers, Brokers & Agents. Recognized for her ability to increase customer retention rates, increasing business development opportunities and providing outstanding customer service.