Accidents and investigations
Monitor the effectiveness of the measures you put in place to control the risks in your workplace. As part of your monitoring, you should investigate incidents to ensure that corrective action is taken, learning is shared and any necessary improvements are put in place.
Investigations will help you to:
- identify why your existing control measures failed and what improvements or additional measures are needed
- plan to prevent the incident from happening again
- point to areas where your risk assessment needs reviewing
- improve risk control in your workplace in the future
Reporting incidents should not stop you from carrying out your own investigation to ensure risks in your workplace are controlled efficiently.
An investigation is not an end in itself, but the first step in preventing future adverse events that includes:
- accident: an event that results in injury or ill health
- near miss: an event not causing harm, but has the potential to cause injury or ill health (in this guidance, the term near miss will include dangerous occurrences)
- undesired circumstance: a set of conditions or circumstances that have the potential to cause injury or ill health, eg untrained nurses handling heavy patients
- dangerous occurrence: one of a number of specific, reportable adverse events, as defined in the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)