When workplace health and safety incidents happen, it’s important to respond appropriately. Investigating allows employers to identify potential health and safety failings that led to the incident and make necessary workplace adjustments to help prevent future incidents.
Regardless of severity or circumstance, it’s vital to investigate every workplace health and safety incident. Consider this five-step process:
- Preserve and document the scene. Preserving the scene of the incident might require halting production or temporarily relocating any employees near the incident area. Take photos and document relevant information regarding the incident—including witnesses, workplace equipment involved and environmental conditions.
- Collect important information. Next, you will want to collect the following valuable information:
- Witness accounts of what happened
- Equipment manuals and maintenance records
- Employee training documentation
- Workplace inspections
- Workplace health and safety policies and procedures
- Determine the root cause(s). Root causes are the underlying issues or failures that lead to workplace incidents, such as management concerns, poor workplace designs or operational failings.
- Implement corrective measures. These measures should be specific, realistic and clearly communicated, as well as help reduce overall workplace risks.
- Conduct routine follow-ups. Review with supervisors and employees to evaluate the measures’ effectiveness.
An investigation policy should encourage collaboration between employees, management and various departments. Routinely review it for effectiveness and make workplace updates as needed.
Contact us at Neckerman Insurance Services for additional workplace health and safety resources.
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