Accident Investigation – The Six Key Questions

Question 1: WHO

  1. Who was injured? Who saw the accident?
  2. Who was working with him/her?
  3. Who had instructed/assigned him/her?
  4. Who else was involved?
  5. Who else can help prevent recurrence?

Question 2: WHAT

  1. What was the accident?
  2. What was the injury?
  3. What was he/she doing?
  4. What had he/she been told to do?
  5. What tools was he/she using?
  6. What machine was involved?
  7. What operations was he/she performing?
  8. What instructions had he/she been given?
  9. What specific precautions were necessary?
  10. What specific precautions was he/she given?  Did he/she use?
  11. What protective equipment was he/she using?
  12. What had other persons done that contributed to the accident?
  13. What problem or question did he/she encounter?
  14. What did he/she or witnesses do when accident occurred?
  15. What extenuating circumstances were involved?
  16. What did he/she or witnesses see?
  17. What will be done to prevent recurrence?
  18. What safety rules were violated?
  19. What new rules are needed?

Question 3: WHEN

  1. When did the accident occur?
  2. When did he/she start on that job?
  3. When was he/she assigned to the job?
  4. When were the hazards pointed out to him/her?
  5. When had his/her supervisor last checked on job progress?
  6. When did he/she first sense something was wrong?

Question 4: WHY

  1. Why was he/she injured?
  2. Why did he/she do what he/she did?
  3. Why did the other person do what he/she did?
  4. Why wasn’t protective equipment used?
  5. Why weren’t specific instructions given to him/her?
  6. Why was he/she in the position he/she was?
  7. Why was he/she using the tools or machine he/she used?
  8. Why didn’t he/she check with his/her supervisor when he/she noted things weren’t as they should be?
  9. Why did he/she continue working under the circumstances?
  10. Why wasn’t supervisor there at the time?

Question 5: WHERE

  1. Where did the accident occur?
  2. Where was he/she at the time?
  3. Where was the supervisor at the time?
  4. Where were co-workers at the time?
  5. Where were other people who were involved at the time?
  6. Where were witnesses when accident occurred?

Question 6: HOW

  1. How did he/she get hurt?
  2. How could he/she have avoided it?
  3. How could co-workers have avoided it?
  4. Could supervisor have prevented it? How?

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