Workplace Incident Investigations
When a workplace accident happens in many companies, the injured worker reports to HR, their manager or some other responsible person so they can complete an accident report or initial report of injuries that is forwarded to their workers compensation insurance company. And that’s the extent of documenting the incident.
Unfortunately, there are many missed opportunities to prevent future accidents and to preserve information and facts to potentially defend an employer should this worker’s injuries result in a problem claim.
I work from the perspective that most workplace incidents are preventable. Regardless of the employer’s business and hazard level workplace injuries do not have to happen. The National Safety Council estimates preventing a workplace injury can save an employer on average $39,000 and preventing a fatality can save more than $1.4 million.
Preventing workplace accidents comes from a cultural perspective, documented safety processes and procedures, training and education, and workplace incident investigations.
Workplace incident investigations provide an employer a means of understanding the root causes of why a workplace incident/accident occurred and what corrective actions need to be implemented to preventing that incident from occurring again. Yet, investigations are rarely conducted in any organized fashion in mid-market firms in my experience. That is why we are happy to provide this guide for employers on how to conduct incident investigations.
The reason it’s called an incident investigation and not accident investigation is that we believe that close calls or near misses; which are incidents that could have caused a serious injury but did not, should also be investigated.
As you’ll see in this guide, incident investigations should focus on identifying and correcting the root causes of incidents and not finding fault or blame with employees. By demonstrating your commitment to a safe and healthy workplace employee morale and productivity will improve.
Need help implementing workplace safety initiatives or projects in your workplace? Need assistance with getting this guide on investigations implemented? Give me a call, or hit the next steps button below and let’s have a conversation.
Follow this link for the guide: Incident Investigations – A Guide for Employers