Do THIS to ensure your next accident investigation runs smoothly

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 12 Aug. 2014

Tags: accident investigation, investigation findings, investigating accidents, workplace accident investigation

The secret to a successful accident investigation lies in your preparation and planning. So this means you need to be one step ahead of any accidents that may happen in your workplace. If you don’t, they may catch you unawares.

But what planning and preparation must you do? And how can you tell what you need for different accidents?

Don’t let these questions put you in a panic. Today we reveal exactly what you must do to ensure your accident investigation runs smoothly...


Preparation and planning is the key to a smooth accident investigation

You must be prepared to investigate any accident. By this I don’t mean you must wait crouched on site waiting to spring in to investigating action. I mean you need to have all your investigation support structures in place. 
Here’s exactly what you need:
1. Get your investigation team in place
You must assemble an investigation team long before any accidents happen. This way you just need to summon them to investigation duty. If you only appoint them once an accident happens, it’ll delay the process. This means your evidence might not be there by the time you’re ready.
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don’t ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don’t have a health and safety representative. 
Here’s how to avoid it…
2. Draw up your Investigation Findings Report template
You need this document so you and your team can record what you learnt from your investigation as you go. Without this, you may forget some important details.
3. Establish protocols around discussing and dealing with investigation findings
Create a set of rules to guide the process for assessing your investigation findings. For example, do you and your team meet afterwards to discuss your findings and compare? 
4. Create Accident Report documents
You need to complete one of these reports with your final findings report.
If you do these four things, your accident investigations will go smoothly every time because you’ve already done the groundwork.

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