Detective Work: Accident Investigation on the Job

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When there is an accident in your workplace, it’s crucial for an investigation to follow. Accident investigations can help determine hazards that need to be immediately addressed.

Supervisors should typically lead accident investigations. But the investigation team can consist of other individuals, such as employees, a safety officer, health and safety committee, an outside expert and a local government representative.

According to the CCOHS, the accident investigation process should consist of these steps:

  • Report the accident occurrence to a designated person within the organization.
  • Provide first aid and medical care to injured people and prevent further injuries or damage.
  • Investigate the accident.
  • Identify the causes.
  • Report the findings.
  • Develop a plan for corrective action.
  • Implement the plan.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the corrective action.
  • Make changes for continuous improvement.

Do you usually conduct accident investigations after accidents occur? If so, what information have you learned from past accident investigations that has surprised you? What lessons can you learn from these investigations?

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