How Workplace Accident Investigations can Enhance workers’ Safety
Every accident at workplaces has something to learn for owners and safety managers. Even if one has all precautions taken and every safety standard and policies adhered, still if accident happens, people responsible for providing safe work environment should be able to investigate the cause and plug the loopholes to prevent similar incidents in future.
Accident investigation is a specialized field, though associated with HSE field of study. Those who have knowledge and expertise in providing safety and healthy work workplace culture should be able to analyze and prepare accident investigation report internally to suggest the management and also policy makers to review the safety practices and standards.
There are various procedures and parameters in which accident investigations can be carried out by workplace managers and HSE professionals. Let’s analyze how accident investigations are done at workplaces.
Step1 : Gathering Information:
Gathering first hand information immediately after any incident is crucial. As primary information, investigators should secure the site of accident before it gets altered, Collect the details of witnesses to be interviewed before they move out of scene and pick up vital clues and information from the accident site. Workplace managers who do accident information report should come prepared to the scene with appropriate recording devices.
As a secondary source of information, all the witnesses should be interviewed to get vital clues about the cause of the accident and details such as what happened before, during and after the accident.
Once the witnesses are interviewed and recorded, one should move on to third source of information – documentation.
Step 2 : Analyze information:
All the collected data are carefully studied to find the cause or causes of the accident. Sometime, for small accidents due to slippery floor, oil spill or accidental contact with overhead live wire, there may be one two causes.
For such cases, investigation report can fix the accountability and suggest corrective action to the management. But sometime, the cause of the accident can be due to multiple reasons for which an in-depth analysis should be carried out to record the reasons and recommend solution to prevent its recurrence.
Step 3 : Identify suitable control measures:
Once the investigation team pin-points the causes of the accident, then the HSE experts can be able to suggest the management the control measures or remedial actions. While fixing the control measures, analysts should be able to contain same type of accidents in future and also other possible accidents which can also occur due to similar reasons or actions.
Step 4 : Plan for remedial actions:
Since accident investigation processes are always an internal activity, people responsible should draw a road-map for the management to suggest that how the preventive measures or corrective actions are going to be implemented with fixed timeline.
The HSE experts who prepare the report should also know the ways to implement the same with the coordination of workers. Accident investigation team not only prepares documents for workers to improve safety awareness but also share explanatory visuals, animated safety videos and audio recordings.