True or False, the primary purpose of an investigation is to affix blame? The answer is False, the primary purpose of an investigation is to identify causes so that corrective action can be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Almost every incident is the result of a combination of causes. The primary purpose of investigation is to identify these causes so that corrective action can be taken to prevent a recurrence of the incident. Additionally, information collected will be valuable in meeting the government agency’s reporting requirements.
Investigations should be conducted by the supervisor in charge of the area and/or personnel involved. The investigator must review every incident report to ensure that appropriate corrective actions take place. Incident investigations are not conducted to affix blame. They are conducted to find facts to help prevent recurrence.
When an incident occurs, first and foremost ensure that safety of yourself and others.
- Control the scene – ensure that the danger has been reduced or eliminated.
- Assess the situation – scan the scene, decide if more help is needed.
- Act – initiate the Emergency Response Plan, if injuries exist, provide first aid to your level of training.
- Freeze the scene – if reasonably practicable, protect the scene from being disturbed so that photos can be taken, re-enactments can be conducted and to ensure that the environment is fully inspected for potential contributing factors or causes or other evidence for the investigation report.
- Report – contact immediate supervisor, management, safety department, and Client representatives to report the event and the initial findings.
- Gather Witness Statements – get a thorough, written and signed statement from all parties involved as soon as possible.
- Complete Incident Investigation Report – form to be completed by the supervisor in charge or field safety representative with the assistance of other investigation members. NOT TO BE COMPLETED BY WORKERS OR INJURED EMPLOYEES!
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