Step by step to carry out a work accident investigation efficiently?
Workplace safety is a fundamental concern for any company. After all, workplace accidents not only harm employees, but can also have serious financial and legal consequences for organisations.
This is why workplace accident investigation plays a crucial role in occupational safety management. By investigating the causes, companies can identify areas for improvement and implement measures to prevent future accidents.
This not only protects staff, but also reduces costs and helps the company comply with safety regulations.
In this guide, we will explore the step-by-step guide to efficiently conducting a workplace accident investigation to avoid complications and improve workplace safety.
The importance of investigating workplace accidents:
Workplace accident investigation is a systematic process of collecting information and analysing the circumstances that led to a workplace accident or incident.
This practice aims to not only determine the immediate causes of the accident, but also identify underlying factors. From this, failures in procedures, inadequate equipment, lack of training or unsafe working conditions may be discovered.
In this sense, among the benefits of investigating work accidents are:
- Identify the root causes of accidents to prevent future accidents;
- Allows the company to take effective corrective measures;
- Reduces costs with compensation, sick leave and employee replacement costs;
- Assists in improving processes and procedures to avoid new work accidents resulting from failures;
- Builds a culture of safety where all employees recognise the importance of keeping the workplace safe
- Increased employee confidence and productivity
- It helps the company comply with all regulations and avoid legal penalties.
Difference between accident, near accident and incident:
For an efficient workplace safety investigation, it is essential to understand the differences between accidents, near misses and incidents.
- Accident: is an unplanned event that results in personal injury (physical or psychological), property damage or financial loss;
- Near miss: also known as a near incident, is an event that could have resulted in an actual accident but, through luck or timely intervention, did not cause significant damage;
- Incident: An incident refers to an undesired event or abnormal situation that does not result in injury or damage, but that deviates from normal operations or safety standards, such as chemical spills, temporary equipment failures, or other events that may have security implications in the future.
Step by step to carry out a work accident investigation:
Occupational accident investigation plays a vital role in occupational safety management. It not only helps clarify the events that led to an accident, but also provides valuable insights to prevent future occurrences. Contact us for Accident Investigation Course in UAE
Check out this step-by-step guide to efficiently conducting a workplace accident investigation.
Preparation for the investigation:
Before starting the investigation, you need to make some preparations. First, create a competent team to investigate what happened. The team must be made up of people with knowledge of occupational safety, experienced technicians and, if possible, representatives of the workers involved.
Notify other sectors explaining that the accident site must be preserved. This step is essential to gather all relevant evidence, such as photos, records and witness statements. All this information must be collected impartially.
Document information about the date, time, location, environmental conditions, and all circumstances surrounding the accident. Another important action is to conduct interviews with the people involved in the accident, as well as witnesses, to obtain a complete understanding of the events.
The more details and information, the easier it will be to determine the moments and causes of the accident.
Accident analysis and reconstruction:
Use the information collected to reconstruct the sequence of events that led to the accident. In addition to the immediate causes, identify any contributing factors, such as procedural failures, lack of adequate training, failure to use the workplace safety checklist, defective equipment, among others.
Identification of root causes:
Apply analysis techniques: Whys Analysis to deepen the investigation and identify the root causes of the accident.
Investigate to understand why the accident happened even if your company follows all safety standards. A failure in the process can lead to the most critical root causes that, if corrected, will have the greatest impact on preventing future accidents.
Development of corrective and preventive actions:
With all the data collection and a broader understanding of the event, develop an action plan. Based on the root causes, the team will be able to determine specific corrective measures and preventive actions to avoid recurrences.
Additionally, establish deadlines and responsibilities for appropriate managers: Set deadlines for implementing corrective actions and assign clear responsibilities to individuals or departments. These actions are essential to create a work safety plan and prevent occurrences from recurring.
Communication of results and lessons learned:
Once the changes are established, everyone must be informed about the results of the investigation, including employees, managers and other parties involved. Therefore, it is important to highlight the main lessons learned from the investigation, the changes that will be applied from now on and to emphasise the importance of accident prevention and safety in the workplace