You had an accident at your workplace or on a job site. What do you do now?
Obviously, your first priority needs to be taking care of anyone who was injured in the accident—making sure they get the proper care and the time off they need to heal. You’ll also need to submit a claim to your workers’ compensation insurer. This will involve gathering some details about the incident and filling out the paperwork required by your insurance company.
Your next step should be to conduct a thorough accident investigation of the incident.
Why You Should Conduct an Accident Investigation in Orange County
Accident investigations are only required by OSHA to be completed when the accident results in a fatality or in the hospitalization of three or more people, but even if the accident doesn’t meet these criteria, you should consider conducting an investigation anyway. It is important that you uncover the reason(s) behind the accident and how to prevent the same, or a similar, incident from occurring again.
The reason for the accident may not be as simple as you may think. A lot of accidents get chalked up to “mistakes” or “carelessness” on the part of employees, or to malfunctioning equipment. However, in reality, there’s often more to most accidents than this. Something that appears on the surface to be a careless mistake, may have occurred because the employee wasn’t properly trained, or because procedures weren’t being followed. When this is the case, it means that your company has some work to do. Your company’s training manual may need to be revisited, or management may need to place a greater emphasis on following proper procedures.
When the incident appears to have occurred due to an equipment failure, it needs to be determined why. Was the piece of equipment overdue for maintenance? Was it being used for its intended purpose? These are questions that need to be explored.
If you want your company to be a safe place for your employees (and hopefully you do), getting to the root cause(s) of any accidents is essential! Otherwise, you could find yourself facing a similar incident in the not-too-distant future.
Who Should Complete an Accident Investigation in Orange County?
An internal investigation is better than no investigation at all, but it’s always best to bring in an unbiased third party to conduct an accident investigation. Someone with no “skin in the game” will look at all possible causes—including ones that might mean some major changes need to be made within the company.
Someone who is trained in conducting accident investigations will ask questions that someone at your company might not think to ask, and they’ll look at things that might not seem relevant at first glance.
At DTS, we are experts at workplace safety and highly experienced in conducting accident investigations. We aren’t satisfied with the easy or convenient answer as to why an incident occurred (unless it truly is the answer).
What Should an Accident Investigation Include?
For an accident investigation to be effective, it needs to be thorough. It should include interviews with anyone involved with the incident. It should also include a site visit and a review of any relevant documents, such a maintenance logs, training materials, and policies and procedures.
When you work with DTS, as the conclusion of your Orange County accident investigation, we will provide you with the following:
- A report that includes our findings and recommendations for improving workplace safety
- Completed OSHA paperwork (if necessary), such as form 300, 301, and/or 300A
If needed, DTS can also update your company’s Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) with any new or amended policies, procedures, and/or employee safety trainings.
Contact us to learn more about accident investigations or to have your initial questions answered.