At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- State the reasons and importance of conducting incident investigations
- State the three phases of an incident investigation
- Define "root cause"
- State the responsibilities of an incident investigation team leader
- List methods for obtaining facts and avoiding blame when speaking to witnesses
- State the primary objectives of an incident investigation team
- Identify methods for determining the causes of an incident
- List some long term corrective actions to prevent incidents from occurring in the future
The following key questions are answered in this module:
Why are incident investigations conducted?
There are many reasons why incident investigations are conducted, some of them include: Reducing employee's exposure to hazards; preventing future incidents from occurring; maintain employee morale and engagement; and reduces company and personal liability.
What are the three phases of an incident investigation?
The three phases in an incident investigation include the initial response, root cause analysis, and corrective action and follow-up.
What is a "root cause"?
A "root cause" is the most basic reason for the occurrence of a problem. When the root cause is eliminated, the problem will be resolved.
What are the primary objectives of the incident investigation team?
The primary objectives of the investigation team include 1. Gathering accurate and useful data to have a clear understanding of the timeline of events associated with the incident. 2. Analyzing the facts and identifying the contributing, direct, and root causes. 3. Writing the incident investigation report.
What is a useful method for determining the root cause of an incident?
One useful method for determining the root cause of an incident is to use the "5 Whys" technique. This involves asking "Why?" repeatedly until the underlying problem is found.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
Workplace safety is a major concern to workers and their companies because there are so many ways it can be breached, often with physical, emotional, and financial consequences. As long as people work, there will be safety related incidents and near-misses. But those incidents can be used to make the workplace safer if they are investigated, analyzed, and corrected to prevent their recurrence. Investigating near-miss situations is equally important because they provide the opportunity to avoid future injuries and/or property damage. Continually improving work practices, processes and performance not only benefits the business but also helps keep you and your coworkers safe.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Topics - https://www.osha.gov/dcsp/products/topics/incidentinvestigation/
- OSHA Guide for Employers - https://www.osha.gov/dte/IncInvGuide4Empl_Dec2015.pdf
- OSHA eTools - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/safetyhealth/mod4_tools_acc_inves_tools.html
- National Safety Council – www.nsc.org
- NSC Documents - http://www.nsc.org/JSEWorkplaceDocuments/How-To-Conduct-An-Incident-Investigation.PDF