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Safety / Accident Investigations

What Is A Safety Accident?

A safety accident is unplanned or undesired occurrence which may or may not result in injury to person(s) and or damage to property. Accident reporting and investigation is a legal requirement of the General Applications Regulations and the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act.

What Is A "Reportable Accident"? What Is The Difference Between A "Reportable Accident" And A "Non-Reportable Accident?

According to OSHA, a reportable injury or illness is any work-related injury or illness: requiring medical treatment beyond first aid; an injury or illness that results in loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work, or transfer to another job, or; a fatality. There also are reporting criteria for work-related incidents that involve needlesticks, medical removal, hearing loss, and tuberculosis.

A "Reportable Accident" is one in which there is a personal injury and/or a vehicle cannot be driven. A "Non-Reportable Accident" is an accident where there are no personal injuries and/or where a vehicle(s) can be driven from the scene.

What Is A "Near Miss"

OSHA defines a "near miss" as an incident in which no personal injury was sustained or no property was damaged but where, given a slight change in time, position or circumstance, injury or damage easily could have occurred. In other words, a "near miss" is an event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage, but had the potential to do so.

Safety / Accident Investigation Training Courses

Even with a great safety system in place, there is always a risk of injury or a near-miss incident. When this happens, steps must be taken to prevent a future occurrence.

But unfortunately, safety managers and supervisors often get the call to investigate incidents that occur in the workplace. Problem is, untrained supervisors make preventable mistakes that come back and haunt them in court.

Our detailed accident investigation training courses takes you through the steps of an accident investigation, shows you how to find the actual cause, and how to develop effective corrective actions.

What You'll Learn From Our Accident Investigation Training Courses
  • The legal obligations that require employers to conduct internal investigations
  • The areas that must be considered in an accident investigation
  • Why accident investigations fail - and how to avoid common pitfalls
  • How to collect and analyze evidence in order to establish the facts
  • How to establish a chain of custody and a confidential retention process
  • How to prepare questions for witness interviews and select appropriate interviewing locations
  • Tips for interviewing witnesses and the injured employee
  • How to document investigative findings
  • Best practices in handling disciplinary action and terminations to avoid stepping on legal land mines
  • An overview of tools used in, and principles of, "root cause analysis"
  • How to develop and implement corrective action recommendations
  • Key regulatory considerations regarding OSHA, worker's compensation, ADA and FMLA
  • How to handle citations and violations
  • The role of your company?s emergency response team

Find Accident Investigation Training Courses

To find your desired Accident Investigation training courses, either select a Recommended Course from the list below, or select from either "Accident Prevention" or "Investigations" and your state from the "Professional Development" section of the search box at the bottom of this page.

Recommended Training Courses:

Safety / Accident Investigations
In-Person Seminars
Books/CDs/Other Training Resources
Webinars Or Audio Conferences
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Professional Development
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Additional Info

To assist employers and workers in conducting effective incident investigations, and to develop corrective action plans, the following resources can help:
  • OSHA Fact Sheet. Root Cause: The Importance of Root Cause Analysis During Incident Investigation. (PDF). (2016). This fact sheet provides guidance for identifying root causes of incidents and/or near misses in order to prevent their recurrence.
  • OSHA Incident [Accident] Investigations: A Guide for Employers (PDF). (2015). This guidance document provides employers with a systems approach to identifying and controlling the underlying or root causes of all incidents in order to prevent their recurrence.
  • National Safety Council. How to conduct an incident investigation (PDF). (2014). This four-page guidance document, developed by the OSHA/NSC National Alliance, provides brief guidance on conducting an incident investigation.
Maintaining and Posting Records

The records must be maintained at the worksite for at least five years.
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