Accident Investigation Procedures in the Workplace

Most injuries in the workplace are preventable, so it’s important to analyze the factors that led to a mishap when one has occurred. When you make time for accident investigation in the workplace, you improve your team’s ability to prevent future incidents by identifying risk factors that nobody noticed before. Take advantage of the silver lining in workplace accidents by learning what needs to change at your facility.

Getting Everyone Involved

Identifying workplace hazards after an accident should be a team effort. When managers and employees work together on accident procedures in the workplace, they combine their breadth of knowledge to spot potential dangers at a worksite. This approach is also likely to improve employee morale, as it shows that management cares about employee input when it comes to safety.

The focus of the investigation should be to improve your company’s operations rather than find out who is to blame. It should be clear that the investigation is in everyone’s best interest and will make your facility safer than before. Get your team on the same page before you start digging deeper.

What to Look For

Although it’s tempting to look for the easy answers during an accident investigation, it’s better to ask more questions than you think are necessary. The best investigations get to the root of an incident rather than the direct cause. For example, if someone wasn’t following the procedure that you have outlined in a safety manual, ask yourself why he or she failed to do so. The problem may actually lie in rule enforcement if everyone on the team has ignored that guideline for some time.

Another common root of accidents is production pressure. When people feel crunched for time, they cannot do their job as safely or effectively as they would with less of a stress-filled environment. Ask yourself what changes could be made around your workplace to keep your employees more focused on their tasks instead of simply asking them to focus harder. An accusatory approach is unlikely to change behaviors, so show that you’re doing something to make things better.

Take Training Seriously

Sometimes an accident happens because employees haven’t had the proper training to do their jobs correctly. Even if you already utilize safety training at your company, it may no longer cover relevant topics as the company has grown and procedures have changed. Reevaluate your training procedures by looking at the ways your employees behave on a daily basis. What is outlined in your training procedures may not match real world situations.

When it’s time to change your training strategies, explore CLMI’s training video library to discover resources that are relevant to your operations. Every business has different safety topics to take into consideration, so find what is most relevant to your industry using the categories to the left of the page. Your employees will have access to these videos anywhere there is an internet connection, which makes training easier for business with off-site workers. Stop your next accident investigation before it happens!