When an accident occurs these tips can assist in ensuring personnel are familiar with some basic steps that should be taken when an accident occurs in the workplace. Always ask about your company’s specific requirements for responding to accidents in the workplace.
Incident Response In The Workplace
- Have first aid administered (if trained to do so) and direct someone to call emergency services.
- Assist and monitor the injured person until emergency services arrive.
- Establishing Control: control at the scene where the incident occurred is critical to the success of the investigation. The scene should be controlled until emergency services arrive.
- Secure the Scene: Prompt and efficient response to secure the scene.
The following is a list of steps that should be taken when an incident occurs
Control Potential Secondary Occurrences
Before entering an incident area, an assessment of potential hazards must be done.
Secondary occurrences can sometimes be more severe because normal controls can be weakened or modified because of the incident.
Close off the Area
Prevent individuals from stepping into or on the scene or moving items out of the area.
Affected areas shall be cordoned off; work stopped that immediately, and people restricted from entering the area until the investigation has been completed.
Take Digital Photographs
Digital photographs effectively preserve the visual aspects of the scene. When correctly done, they can save hours of note-taking, drawing, and writing. Pictures can also be used for training purposes.
Identify Witnesses and Take Initial Statements
As soon as the scene is safe and injured personnel are being treated, record the names of all witnesses, keeping the witnesses separate.
Take the initial statements by asking the witness to write in detail what they saw from their point of view.
Diagram the Scene
Sketch the area where the incident occurred. Sketches should contain directional orientation so that recorded information adequately describes the site where the incident occurred.
Identify the location on the sketch where the incident occurred.
Collection of Evidence
An investigation involves the tools, equipment, and materials ndividuals were using at the time of the accident.
Sometimes an accident investigation could require the services of an expert. Guards, warning labels, the condition of tools, and wear and tear, can reveal evidence of what may have happened.
Immediately after the scene has been secured, witnesses must be interviewed using Witness Statement Form.
Witnesses and the individuals involved in the incident should be questioned first.
After all information and evidence have been collected, the analysis of what happened can begin. This process includes at a minimum:
- Documenting all the facts,
- Compare and contrast the facts with physical evidence to establish the most likely answer,
- Develop a sequence of events,
- Update information to identify contributing and root causes, and
- Recommend corrective actions.
Reporting the incident
The report shall include all pertinent information, including copies of gathered documents and lessons learned.
The report shall be completed and submitted to the Managing Director and Safety Officer for review. If the incident is still under investigation by a regulatory agency, then a preliminary report can be provided.
Tools for an accident investigation include:
Personal Protective Equipment, flashlight, tape measure, red danger tape, cones, pencils, graph paper or notepad, bags, clipboard, camera, voice recorder, and witness statement forms.
Following these simple steps can help to uncover the root cause of accidents so future occurrences can be avoided.