How to Conduct a Proper Accident Investigation

  1. The employee should inform management of the accident immediately. Include specific details including the date, time, suspected causes and damages suffered.
  2. The supervisor should investigate the accident to determine cause, as soon as possible after the accident.
  3. Examine any equipment or machinery that was involved in the accident. Determine if the machine itself contributed to the accident or the way in which the employee was using it.
  4. The supervisor should interview all witnesses to the accident. Get all the facts.
    • WHO: Who was injured? Who saw the accident? Who had instructed/assigned worker? Etc.
    • WHAT: What was the accident?  What was the injury?What circumstances were involved? What protective equipment was used? Etc.
    • WHEN: When did the accident occur? When were the hazards pointed out? Etc.
    • WHY: Why was he/she injured? Why did employee do what they did?  Why weren’t specific instructions given to him/her? Etc.
    • WHERE: Where did the accident occur? Where was the supervisor at the time?         Where were witnesses when accident occurred? Etc.
    • HOW: How did he/she get hurt? How could he/she have avoided it? Could supervisor have prevented it? Etc.
  6. Once the cause of the accident is determined, take the necessary action to prevent this type of accident from occurring again.
  7. Management should review each accident in a timely manner to ensurethe accident was properly reported and investigated, the true cause(s) were identified and that appropriate corrective action was taken.
  8. The results of the investigation should be reviewed by the company’s Safety Committee.

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