How to Conduct a Workplace Accident Investigation

Accident Investigation Training

In the workplace, blame is counter-productive. Placing blame is not what is important when investigating workplace accidents. You should investigate and make a report of the following:

• All accidents no matter how minor.
• All injuries should be reported, even the very minor ones.
• All “near miss” situations and damage to property, so you can consider the root causes.

• All illness and injury reported in 300 OSHA Injury and Illness Log.
Whether it be from your workers, or even someone visiting your business, to someone using a product you make, you can be at risk for lawsuits and accident claims.

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Why do I need to investigate Workplace Accidents?

Accident investigations help minimize future accidents and help pinpoint key safety problems and failures. Developing a written policy or having procedures in place for accident prevention is critical for safe guarding lives.
Accident investigations can also help to reduce exposure to costly litigation.
 Finding the “root cause” – what really caused the accident to occur is the most important part of accident investigations. This is important to make sure whatever caused the incident will never happen again. Even a near-miss incident should always be investigated.
Accident investigations are proven the best preventative to future accidents in the workplace.

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Questions to Ask during an Accident Investigation?

These are some questions to keep in mind while conducting a workplace accident investigation:

Is the accident scene secure?
Has this type of accident happen before and when? What was the outcome?
Have all workers involved been interviewed and ask to give as many details as possible?
Ask workers have there been any near misses that have not been reported?
Do employees have the safety equipment, policies and training they need?

By following a checklist, accident investigators can find or sometimes uncover root causes of accidents and help prevent future ones. It is important to make sure employees understand that accident investigations are not to get people in trouble. It is clearly done to save lives and prevent injuries. Teach your employees to give as many details during an investigation. Learn to gather information from all workers involved without placing blame.  

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