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When you investigate an incident, look for the source first

by , 10 July 2014
Any accident that happens in your workplace is serious. Even non-fatal accidents need to be investigated thoroughly and a full incident report drawn up at the end.

But what are you looking for?

Well, the point of any incident investigation is to catch the culprit. Knowing what caused the accident is the only way you can prevent it in future.

So when you start your accident investigation, go straight for the source...

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 You need a full incident investigation to get to the root of the problem
If you really want to identify the source of the accident, you need support during your incident investigation. This support comes in the form of your investigation team. These are employees who have accident investigation training and assist you in this task.
You need their help because more eyes are always better than just one. They'll also be on hand so you can discuss your findings to ensure they aren't bias or rushed.
After all, coming to the wrong conclusion about what caused the accident will lead to more accidents like it in the future. 
With the support of your investigation team, you can start to find out what caused the accident in the first place. 

Look for one of these sources when you do an incident investigation

There are several things that can cause a workplace accident. You must identify which of these caused the one in your workplace:
People: An accident can be completely your employee's fault. This generally happens if your employee is negligent or just doesn't have the training to do the work safely.
Machinery or equipment: Your machinery and equipment can be very dangerous. The older they get, the more dangerous they become. For example, an old machine can overheat and burn your employee when he tries to turn it off.
Conditions or environment: Both the conditions indoors and outdoors can cause accidents. If it's raining outside, for example, your employees could slip. Or they could bring water in as they come inside, which makes the floor slippery and could cause someone else to slips.
Substances and material: If your employees have to work with materials like wood, metal or chemicals, they could cause accidents.
So identify which of these was the source of the accident in your workplace so you can then come up with ways to prevent this type of accident from happening again!
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