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If an accident happens in your workplace, make sure you know which category it fits into

by , 10 July 2014
Accidents come in a variety of forms. It includes anything from an employee getting her foot trapped under a desk, to another falling to his death from the balcony.

Regardless of what happens, you need to secure the scene and do an incident investigation. But different accidents have different protocols and needs for securing the scene and investigating them.

So before you do anything, ensure you know which category it fits into...

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Different accidents categories have different protocol

Let's say, your employee gets a paper cut from the files she was carrying. You won't investigate this the same way you'd investigate a fire in your workplace.
You can't apply one set of protocols to all your accident investigations. If you do, you'll end up wasting a huge amount of time and money. 
The category also affects the kind of safety precautions you put in place. You need to put the type of incident in your incident report so you can make your precautions specific. 
This is why it's so important to categorise an accident properly. So before you do anything, make sure you know which of these categories the accident fits into...

Here are the five incident categories your accident can fall into

1. Serious/major injury or illness that include fatalities (e.g. an explosion or fire);
2. Minor/ no life threatening injuries with time lost (e.g. an amputated finger);
3. Minor/ no life threatening injuries with no time lost (e.g. occupational illness such as hearing loss);
4. Minor/ no injuries but with damage to property (e.g. an employee slipping and dropping her laptop); and
5. No visible injuries, illnesses or property damage (e.g. slipping because of a wet floor).
There you have it: Know which of these categories your workplace accident belongs to so you can deal with it properly.
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