Workplace accidents can often be prevented, but even companies with industry-leading safety records can’t escape them entirely. When an incident does occur, respond promptly and effectively. Have a plan in place, conduct a thorough investigation, and do whatever it takes to prevent a recurrence. It’s your number-one priority and most important responsibility.
Your Comprehensive Incident Report
Your accident plan ensures that when an incident occurs, everyone involved knows what steps must be taken and who’s responsible for them.
- Appoint an individual to be in charge. This person will lead a team that should include your facility manager, as well as appropriate department managers, union representatives and other key personnel. Nothing matters more than safety – and the involvement of top-down leadership underlines this commitment.
- Define the scope of the investigation. Your team leader should clarify what information is to be sought and communicate the goal and time frame of the investigation.
- Create a preliminary brief. The investigation team should compile an initial incident review including the date, time and location of the accident, as well as a damage estimate, witness list and details regarding environmental conditions and specific injuries incurred. Any relevant events and circumstances also should be cited.
- Inspect the site. The team should spend time at the accident site looking for any details that may have been missed in the initial brief. This includes a thorough check of equipment and a review of maintenance records and operator manuals.
- Interview victims and witnesses. Discuss the incident in detail with anyone who was affected by or involved in it. Employees who regularly work in the area or who had contact with victims before the accident also should be interviewed.
- Determine the sequence of events. Using their notes, observations and interviews, team members should be able to define events leading up to, involved in and immediately following the incident. Diagrams or photos may be helpful at this point.
- Review relevant documents. This helps round out the investigation. The team should look at training records for victims and others who perform the same job. In addition, investigators should review related policies and procedures and company safety committee minutes. The latter will help determine whether any related incidents have occurred and been addressed in the past.
- Prepare a summary report. This should include all data and information collected, along with the sequence of events, presumed cause of the incident and recommendations for preventing future accidents. The team may suggest enhanced safety training, better preventive maintenance, an evaluation of related job procedures, engineering or administrative changes, or other measures.
When their investigation is complete, findings should be reported to senior management and union leadership, along with a briefing to present all team findings.
It’s not a task anyone wants to perform. But it can literally be a life saver when it comes to the future health and well-being of your greatest asset: your workforce. For additional resources to enhance your safety and HR strategies, contact the experts at Alternative Staffing today.