Accident Reporting, Investigation and Analysis
Sample Manual Language
All accidents and injuries occurring to [name of public entity] property or involving entity-related activities must be reported to the safety coordinator immediately. If a workers' compensation other claim is evident, the safety coordinator should contact the entity's insurance agent or broker within 24 hours at [phone number] during normal business hours, and the [name of insurance company] claim reporting desk insert number] for off-hours emergencies.
Accident Investigation Procedures
The senior staff member available at the accident scene or the first such staff member notified should complete the appropriate investigation reporting form (accident, incident, near miss). The completed form should be submitted to the entity’s safety committee, which will forward a copy of the report to the safety coordinator for review. When an employee is injured:
- Get the person professional medical attention.
- Protect others.
- Minimize property damage.
- Stabilize the situation.
- Conduct an investigation.
General guidelines for investigating accidents:
- Go to the scene of the accident while the facts are fresh.
- Inspect and record any changed physical characteristics or conditions of the accident site.
- Preserve any physical evidence, such as potentially defective equipment.
- Take photos to help preserve the scene (i.e., puddles on the floor, overturned storage shelves and spilled contents).
- Talk to the injured person, if possible.
- Talk to any eyewitnesses.
- Ask simple open-ended questions, one question at a time, and attempt to have events related chronologically to ensure thorough coverage.
- Distinguish a person’s actual knowledge from hearsay.
- Ask when, where, who, how, and what was said or done.
- Avoid opinions, judgments or conclusions and be as objective as possible.
- Avoid commenting on the information gathered except to confirm your understanding or to clarify.
- Stress getting the facts.
- Do not comment on liability or fault during the investigation, but listen for clues in the conversation around you.
- Unsolicited comments often have merit.
- Review and finalize any notes immediately upon completion of your inspection and any interview or other communication with those involved.
- Fill out the appropriate accident, incident or near-miss form, giving an accurate account of the facts.
- Send the form to the safety coordinator and safety committee for their review.