Accident investigation & reporting TBT 12

In order to prevent injuries and other undesired incidents (i.e. fire, MVA, oil spill, etc.), all accidents/incidents identified must be investigated to determine cause and corrective measures. 

Many accidents/incidents go unnoticed and few actually cause serious consequences. But, if an accident/incident goes unchecked and occurs frequently, it could eventually cause serious consequences.

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Reasons accidents should be investigated include:

  • Root Cause Analysis – Determine the systemic root cause of an incident rather than immediately available causes so that effective changes to management systems can be implemented.
  • Prevent similar accidents – Investigations can identify what actions will prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
  • Find facts, not faults – Focus efforts on identifying facts rather than finding fault or placing blame on individuals.
  • Detect Incident Trends – Compile data from multiple incidents that may reveal common causes that are dismissed as insignificant when taken alone. Identify existing or emerging trends.
  • Document Facts - Record the incidents and the findings of an investigation.
  • Provide information on costs – Assess the degree of damage and the value of losses.
  • Legal and/or Litigation Requirements – Fulfill legal requirements and/or preparation for potential litigation.
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Incident Reporting & Record Keeping

Simply stated, reporting an accident/incident is the first step in the process of preventing recurrence. Supervisors have the primary responsibility to ensure incidents are properly reported up through their managers.

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