Why a thorough accident investigation is your most important health and safety action of all

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 13 Aug. 2014

Tags: accident investigation, health and safety, health and safety programme, safety issues, investigating accidents

When something goes wrong in your workplace and one of your employees has a serious injury, everything must stop. No one can get back to work until you’ve started your accident investigation and interviewed all the witnesses.

But before you roll your eyes and sigh at this inconvenience, there’s something you need to know: This investigation may be the most important health and safety action you do.

This is because an accident is a clear indication that something is wrong with your health and safety programme and your investigation is the key to uncovering this problem...


Accident investigations: The key to uncovering problems in your health and safety programme

An accident is a big red warning flag that you can’t ignore. It’s proof that something’s not working in your health and safety programme. 
By investigating the accident, you can find out where this safety issue is and deal with it. 
Missing this step because it’s “inconvenient” means there are problems you haven’t dealt with, problems that will only lead to further accidents and injuries.
So take your time with an accident investigation and do these three things.
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Do these three things during an accident investigation to discover the cause 

1. Collect all the evidence from the scene of an accident. This evidence may show the problem is the poor condition of your machinery, for example.
2. Speak to witnesses that saw the accident. They can give you an idea of what happened. For example, they may tell you they saw part of the machine fall on your employee.
3. Record every finding carefully so you don’t forget a single detail.
If the investigation uncovers a serious health and safety problem, such as the condition of your machinery, you need to take steps the fix the problem at once.

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