What are the reasons to investigate accidents?
- Prevent future accidents by identifying and eliminating the causes
- Demonstrate concern about people’s health and safety
- Improve worker morale
- Identify weaknesses in management time
- Prevent business loses
- Collate accident and ill-health data and identify trends
- Defend criminal cases
- Defend claims for compensation
An unplanned, unwanted event which results in a loss
Incident (Near Miss):
An unplanned, unwanted event that has the potential to result in loss
Why you should consider and investigate near misses?
Near misses indicate that the potential for serious accidents is present and by reacting to the near misses they will prevent an accident to happen in the future.
What Actions should be taken after an Accident?
When you talk about the action after an accident this can be divided into 3 different moments in time:
- Longer Term
The Immediate actions should be:
- Treatment for injured personnel,
- Make the area safe,
- Initiate emergency plan,
- Contact emergency services,
- Preserve scene for investigation,
- May have to notify enforcing authority.
The Initial action right after the immediate ones should be:
- Identify witnesses,
- Report details to senior management,
- Report details to insurance company.
Longer Term action should include:
- Decide the depth of the investigation and select team,
- Gather evidence at the scene,
- Interview witnesses,
- Examine documents,
- Appoint specialists if necessary.
Who should be part of the Investigation team?
The team to investigate the accident always depend on the size and complexity of the organization as well the severity of the accident but should be included if possible:
- Supervisors and line managers from department where accident occurred,
- A senior manager from another department,
- Health and Safety professionals,
- Specialists Engineers,
- Representative of workers,
- Employee experienced in the work activity.
What are direct/Immediate and root/Underlying causes of an accident?
A direct/Immediate cause is the result of physical contact with an object or hazardous substance and is usually the result of one or more unsafe acts, unsafe conditions or both.
The Root/Underlying cause of an accident usually are related with the failures in management systems or procedures that have led to the accident.
What is unsafe act and unsafe condition?
The unsafe act is a violation of an accepted safe procedure which could permit the occurrence of an accident.
The unsafe condition is a hazardous physical condition or circumstance which could directly permit the occurrence of an accident.
What are the reasons why records should be kept?
The main reason to kept records is to:
- Prevent a recurrence
- Monitoring purposes
- Legal reasons
- Occupational ill-health may take years to occur
- Civil claims
What Information should be reported in an accident report?
A typical accident report should include:
- Who is injured person?
- Where the accident happened,
- When it happened,
- What happened?
- Why it happened,
Monitoring, Review and Audit of Health and Safety Performance
How your organization can actively monitoring health and safety performance?
There are several strategies to monitor the health and safety performance actively, this means before an accident happen, for this can be used:
- Workplace Inspections,
- Safety Sampling,
- Safety Tours,
Lets explore each one of this strategies.
What is Benchmarking?
Takes key performance indicators and compares them externally with similar organizations or industry standards.
Define Workplace Inspections.
A formal, structured examination possibly by a team of people of the working environment that identify hazards that are not controlled.
What is Safety Sampling?
A random exercise in which assigned observers walk in allotted timescale noting incidence of health and safety defects on pre-prepared sheets.
What is Safety Tours?
An unscheduled examination of a workplace to look for acceptable standards. A tour can be carried out by a Manager and demonstrates commitment to safety.
What is Audit?
A thorough examination of the performance of the health and safety management systems, procedures.
Audits look at Management systems, Procedures, Training, documentation such as safe systems, Permits to work, Interview selected employees as well as examining the workplace.
The performance can also be monitored passively using information from:
- Ill-health statistics,
- Near misses,
- Dangerous occurrences,
- Complaints by workforce,
- Enforcement action,
- Civil claims.
What are the limitations of inspections?
Some of the limitations of inspection are:
- Some hazards are not visible
- Some hazards not always present
- Unsafe practices not seen
What are the types of inspections?
The most important inspection to be performed in an organization are:
- General workplace inspections,
- Statutory inspections,
- Compliance inspections.
Who should carry out inspections?
The inspection should involve not only the safety professionals but also:
- Health and Safety advisors,
- Employee safety representatives,
- Enforcement agencies.
What type of Inspection Checklist can be used?
There’s a lot of different types of checklist that can be used in your organization, that always depend on what needs to be check and inspected, there’s a not exhaustive list of check list that can be used such as:
Condition of processes and plant,
- Environmental conditions,
- Fire protection,
- First aid,
- Hand held tools,
- Hazardous substances,
- Lifting equipment,
- Manual handling,
- Machinery guarding,
Nebosh IGC 1
Element 1: Foundation in Health & Safety
Element 3: Organizing for Health and Safety
Element 4: Promoting a Positive Health and Safety Culture (2/2)
Element 5: Investigation, Recording Health and Safety Incidents (2/)
Element 2: Setting Policy for Health and Safety
Element 4: Promoting a Positive Health and Safety (1/2)
Element 5: Investigation, Recording Health, and Safety (1/2)