Appendix H

ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

When an accident occurs, the investigator must act quickly.  No two situations are alike, but normally the following is correct.
  1. Attend to the injured employee.
     
  2. Assess accident scene to determine if it is safe to enter.
     
  3. Secure the accident scene.
     
  4. Notify your immediate supervisor.
The amount of action will depend on the severity of the accident.  Follow established company procedure.  Begin your investigation as soon as possible.
 
Be objective -- Don’t let emotions or your own opinions cloud your investigation.  Proceed as follows:
  1. Interview everyone who saw or was involved in the accident, including the victim (may have to be done at a later date).  Use this procedure:
     
    1. Put them at ease -- explain that you are finding facts -- not fault.
       
    2. Interview “on the spot” -- if possible.
       
    3. Interview each person separately -- group interviews create confusion.
       
    4. Encourage the person to tell “what they saw.”
       
    5. Ask open-ended questions: “Why? What? Where? When? Who? How?”
       
    6. Repeat the story back for confirmation.
       
    7. End on a positive note.
       
    8. Keep the pipeline open. Some people will remember important facts later.
       
  2. Observe the accident scene -- Look for obvious defects in equipment, tools, the object causing the injury.  In some cases photos or drawings may help.
     
  3. Record critical information promptly -- don’t delay.  Use a prepared form to help remember key questions.
     
  4. Gather facts, not opinions.  Use them to identify activities that contributed to the accident.
     
  5. Make conclusions based on facts and knowledge, not suppositions.
     
  6. Make recommendations to correct physical hazards, revise job procedures, and identify employee-training needs.
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