Why is incident and accident investigation important?
In 2017/18, 555,000 people were injured in a workplace accident, and 144 people were killed.
In workplaces, unfortunately it’s often the same incidents that happen again and again. When an incident or near miss occurs, it is important that lessons are learnt to prevent this from happening. As well as helping you to meet legal reporting requirements, incident and accident investigation can help you understand what went wrong. They can help you to understand how and why something happened, so that processes can be improved and similar incidents avoided.
How do you carry out an effective incident or accident investigation?
A proper incident or accident investigation requires a structured approach. Information needs to be gathered as soon as possible after an incident or accident has taken place, both from the scene where the incident or accident took place and from witnesses. This information then needs to be analysed so that you can understand not only the immediate cause of the incident but what the underlying problem was that led it to happen.
Risks are present in every workplace, and the purpose of your risk management systems is to do everything you can to reduce risk to a level where it is unlikely that an accident or incident takes place. If something has happened, then, it shows that your risk management systems aren’t sufficient and they need to be reevaluated.
The information you gather in your incident or accident investigation then needs to be used to draw up an action plan of how you are going to prevent this accident or incident from happening again.
How can we help you with incident and accident investigation?
We can give you guidance on developing systems to help you track what kind of near misses are happening within your business, so that you can see what patterns emerge. Often, in the lead up to a serious accident, there are many smaller scale incidents. We see these as an excellent opportunity to understand what problems you have – so that you can make changes before someone is hurt, or worse.
But these incidents only work as indicators if someone knows about them, and is paying attention. That’s why incident reporting is a key element in safety management. We can show you how best to implement it in your organisation, to improve standards and keep your people safe.
If, despite your best efforts, an accident occurs – we can help with that too. Our services include:
- Enforcement authority engagement
- Experienced accident investigators
- Improvement & prohibition notice guidance.
Get in touch