Topic area 7: Accident and incident investigation
Estimated Duration: 1 Hour
- To define the reasons for undertaking accident and incident investigations;
- To outline the process for effectively investigating accidents and incidents in order to be able to facilitate an effective accident/incident investigation.
Need to investigate and learn from accidents and incidents -
1. The primary purpose of accident investigation is to improve health and safety performance by
- thoroughly exploring the reasons for the accident and identifying both the immediate and underlying causes (active and latent failures).
- Brief recap of accident causation, particularly concept of active and latent failures.
- Key elements of accident reporting and investigation systems:
2. Dealing with immediate risks - when accident and incidents occur there may be a need to treat the injured, make the area safe or initiate an emergency plan.
3. Selecting the level of investigation and Team - Not all accidents/incidents need to be investigated to the same extent.
4. Investigating the Accident- Thorough investigations are necessary to ensure that all lessons are learnt and that the correct actions (hierarchy of risk control) are taken to prevent a re-occurrence
5. Collecting and Analysing evidence - observing the scene, examining documentation relevant to the circumstances; and interviewing those involved and those who witnessed the event
6. Recording and follow up - Ensuring that the actions taken are effective and that accident information is analysed to identify common features and trends.
Suggested Reading & Other Resources
- HSE - Successful Health & Safety Management HS(G)65, HSE Books, 1995
- Ferry T - Modern Accident Investigation and Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, Canada, 1988
- Shillito D - Incident Investigation in Environmental Performance Improvement - The Jigsaw
- Puzzle. Environmental Protection Bulletin, No 25, 1994