Managing your health and safety processes and programs is about avoiding accidents and unfortunate incidents. Despite the good intentions and all the precaution taken by your teams, no one is immune to an accident at the workplace.
If you have to manage an accident or an incident, here are five essential steps to be followed in order to effectively manage and to follow up on the accident:
When an accident occurs, the first step is to report it.
What should be reported? In this article, we will refer to the CSA Z1005-17 – Incident investigation thereby:
Incident — an occurrence, condition, or situation arising in the course of work that resulted in, or could have resulted, in injuries, illnesses, damage to health, or fatalities.
The second step in the management of accidents and incidents is investigation. Investigation of accidents helps to identify the occurrence, causes and circumstances that led to the accident. An investigation is done by qualified inspectors who are chosen by the company due to their ability to analyze complex situations. The duration of such investigations can greatly vary owing to the complexity of the situations that need to be analyzed. The decision to undertake an investigation is a corporate decision based on its risk tolerance level.
An accident investigation results in the drafting of a report. It includes:
During the course of the investigation, the inspectors will look for facts that contributed to the accident. The list given below provides research leads in order to establish the facts associated with the accident:
During an investigation of an accident or an incident, certain guiding principles should be applied by the inspectors.
The following is the list of the principles:
During investigation, the principle sources of information for the inspectors are:
Finally, the investigation is concluded by drafting a list of factors that need to be analyzed by the inspectors
The third step consists of analyzing facts and questioning them in order to ascertain their role in the accident.
Accident analysis tools are in fact analytical techniques applied to information on accidents in order to obtain a general overview of all the associated facts. The criterion for selecting your accident analysis tool should be based on the following list of prerequisites:
Once completed, the analysis of the accident is recorded in the accidents register. For more information and for details on this subject, consult our article “Record accidents and illnesses: What to record, why and how?”
Following the investigation and analysis of facts, conclusions can be drawn regarding the causes of the accident. This is the stage where corrective and preventive measures are put in place in order to ensure that future accidents and similar incidents do not take place.
It is the right time for your team to organize a meeting to resolve the problems. This meeting will enable you to examine the information regarding the accident and to choose the necessary corrective and preventive measure that can be put in place. This meeting should involve safety professionals, technical staff as well as representatives of your health and safety committee.
This meeting is of great importance since it allows one to identify and plan:
The resulting investigation report will help raise awareness among employers and workers regarding the hazards present in the work environment and the means to eliminate and monitor them. The report is thus an excellent preventive tool.
Irrespective of the consequences it entails, an accident is an unfortunate incident and nobody in the organization wishes it to recur. It is therefore necessary for a good accident management to retain the lessons learned from such an experience and to, most importantly, communicate these lessons to all the members of your organization locally and globally.
Good communication of the lessons learned allows you to share the lessons learnt and the solutions adopted with the rest of the organization. Moreover, it will enable your team to identify the problems faced by others and evaluate your situation in order to quickly rectify potential deviations.
In conclusion, management of accidents and incidents at work is primordial in order to ensure a follow-up on accidents and especially to …
Finally, it is to your advantage to use a computerized system that will manage the process mentioned above. The advantages of accident management with the help of an event management software such as CONFORMiT are numerous.
Visit this page for more information on the management of accidents and incidents with the CONFORMiT software.