Accident Investigation Procedures
The senior staff member available at the accident scene or the first member
notified should complete the appropriate investigation reporting form
(accident, incident, near miss). The completed form should be given to the
organization's safety committee, which will forward a copy of the report to
the safety coordinator for review.
When an employee or volunteer 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
- 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. 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