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Investigate accidents properly by asking these six types of questions

by , 20 June 2014
When an accident happens in your workplace, you must investigate it immediately. This means you need to follow procedure, collect evidence and, most importantly, interview people.

Investigating is all about asking the right questions. Your investigation must cover all of the right bases. But there are a lot of bases to cover.

To ensure you cover everything, ask these six types of questions...

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When you do an incident investigation, ask these six types of questions

If there's an accident at your workplace, you must do a proper incident investigation. The investigation's accident report is important for workers compensation and future incident management.
 
To ensure you do a proper investigation, ask:
 
Who:
- Suffered an injury;
- Saw the accident;
- Was working with the employee that had the accident; and
- Was involved?
 
What:
- Happened;
- Was the injury;
- Was your employee doing when they had their accident; and
- Equipment was the person using?
 
When:
- Did the incident happen;
- Did your employee start the work they were doing;
- Did their manager tell them to do the task; and
- Did their manager last check how they were doing?
 
Why:
- Did this incident injure your employee;
- Did they behave the way they did;
- Did the other people involved behave the way they did; and
- Were they not wearing their PPE?
 
Where:
- Did the accident happen; 
- Was your employee when the accident happened;
- Was their supervisor; and
- Were the rest of your employees?
 
How:
- Did your employee get the injury;
- Could your employee have avoided the accident;
- Could your other employees avoid a similar accident; and
- Could the supervisor have prevented the accident?
 
By covering these six types of questions during your investigations, you'll be able to prevent other accidents in future. 
 
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