Accident investigation

All near misses and incidents/accidents should be investigated in all work places.


To prevent loss and protect:

  • People
  • Property
  • Process
  • Profits

What happened?

  • What did you see, hear etc.?
  • Take photographs of the scene if necessary
  • Describe anything useful before the event anyone may have noticed
  • Ensure a no blame culture exists

These are management systems. What controls were in place, and why did they not work? What is needed?


Use OSH format, e.g accident forms as a starter. Get the big picture. Record critical information. Use visuals such as photographs if necessary. How is the job usually done?


Good working order, previous maintenance orders.


Heavy objects, sharp edges, wrong type of material eg type of glove.


Training, ongoing supervision, cycle of shifts, experience of operator.


Observations about heat/cold. Oil or other spills.

Helpful links
Investigation process
  • Describe what happened / define trends (gathering information)
  • Determine real cause / and risks – analyse and evaluate
  • Develop controls / solutions – take action, document solutions
Investigations done well will
  • Reduce incidents
  • Improve productivity
  • Improve working conditions – morale of staff

Always follow up on solutions.