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