Unfortunately, incidents are likely to occur in some workplaces, especially where open hazards are a part and parcel of the business. Whilst many preventative methods can be used to minimise the chance of accidents occurring, having a robust investigation process will help you find any potential causes and help you prevent incidents in the future.
The depth and scope of your investigation will depend on how serious the accident was. If someone shut their finger in a door or twisted an ankle running up the stairs, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to do much to get to the bottom of anything. The injured employee is also unlikely to want to take the investigation very far, as they’ll probably have recovered within a week or so.
However, if there has been a major accident, such as a heavy machinery crash or a slip and fall that resulted in broken bones, it may take longer to understand where the fault lies. Your employee may also want to hire a lima workers compensation lawyer or similar lawyer in their area, so you’ll have to work with them too. Remember to work methodically and make records of everything you find.
Keep reading to find out how to perform a good accident investigation.
- Find out all the relevant facts from the incident
Getting a good idea of the details of an incident is essential as it helps you develop a good initial understanding of what has gone wrong. Try to discuss the incident with as many people as possible to get different perspectives on what may have happened. From this, you can work out a timeline of the incident which will help you with the next stage of the accident investigation.
- Ensure you are comprehensive in your evidence gathering
Getting reliable evidence when investigating an accident will help you in putting together a reliable timeline of what has happened. Try and start this stage of the accident investigation process early, this will help you gather evidence that has not been physically displaced.
In terms of the interview process, try and complete this early so that any relevant details are fresh in the interviewee’s mind. When conducting the interview, try to remain open-minded and unbiased to help you gather reliable evidence from the interviewee. If you feel you are unable to perform an unbiased interview, get in contact with someone who can. Following these two steps will add to the integrity of your accident investigation.
- Work out actionable next steps
Performing a time-intensive accident investigation is only worthwhile if you put in place actionable steps that can improve the health and safety performance of your organisation. Get in touch with the relevant stakeholders and relay your findings from the accident investigation.
For example, if you found a lack of protective equipment was one of the main contributors to the accident, work out the next steps that can be made to increase the company’s performance on protective equipment.