Incident Investigation


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Incident Report Software >> Incident Reporting

Incident Investigation Software

Reporting and investigating incidents is able to be done much more easily today with modern incident investigation software. Being able to track, record, trend, and investigate various safety occurrences and hazardous conditions and tracking dangerous issues for better oversight and keeping all your workers safe. An incident investigation typically forms part of your incident reporting software and process.

What steps are included in a safety incident investigation process?

What is the next thing to do after an employee in the organisation has experienced an incident leading to an illness or injury? The occupational safety and health administration usually recommends that workplace incidents be investigated using a step-by-step systemic process. Here is an overview of conducting thorough incident investigations after receiving a report of an incident.

1. Keep and document the scene of the incident
Ensuring that the incident site is safe is the first priority of the incident investigator. Where there is an ample distance to reach the area where an incident has occurred, the on-site management should be immediately contacted to ensure that the organisation's protocols are maintained. Be cautious as you approach the area; use any PPEs that are or may be required to enter the incident place. Provide medical care to the affected individuals and de-energize any equipment that was involved in preventing further injury. You can take photos and record videos of the incident scene once everybody is safe and before materials and equipment are moved. Consider protecting the area using tape, guards, or cones to prevent compromising the incident area after working activities have resumed. You may also record other aspects such as weather conditions, the position of machine guards and controls, noise or lighting levels, housekeeping conditions of the place, and safety equipment used during the time of the incident.

2. Collecting information
Interviewing witnesses; the information given by witnesses is always essential in the process of investigating an incident. Speak to them immediately after the occurrence of the incident as a witness is likely to accurately remember every detail shortly after the incident has occurred. It's always critical to obtain raw, unfiltered information during the interviews. Fill out an accident investigation form; this form contains the location of the incident, descriptions of the injury, employee characteristics and conditions at the incident area, root causes, and summary of events facilitating the injury.

3. Identify the root causes
Perform a root cause analysis after gathering all the necessary information. This step is critical in detecting the systemic or underlying causes rather than the incident's immediate causes. You need to know that taking care of the determined immediate causes will only deal with a symptom of the problem but not the specific problem. The most important point is that there is usually more than one cause even in the straightforward occurrences.

4. Implement corrective actions
Corrective action plans are developed to fix both underlying and immediate causes of the incident. Every corrective action needs to be assigned to an individual to be responsible for its progress. It's essential to have a deadline for the implementation of corrective actions and monitoring initiated to ensure that they are successfully completed. Many organisations come up with corrective actions that only deal with direct causes, not putting the root causes into consideration, which results in the reoccurrence of similar or dissimilar incidents from that common root cause.

5. Incident Sign off
After finishing the preparation of the report, make sure it's signed off by the supervisor on duty when the incident occurred. The witnesses and other involved persons may also review and sign off on the form depending on the nature of that particular incident. Its recommended that everybody who signs off to check the accuracy of the information and provide their contact information if a future interrogation is required. After collecting the desired signatures, the investigation should be complete, and the findings can be shared with all the organisation's stakeholders. What would you need these extra steps when managing an incident?

It's typically critical to conduct an incident investigation when an accident occurs at your workplace to identify the causes of the event that led to the injuries. The investigation's objective shouldn't be to assign blame but unveil all the factors that caused the incident to implement the appropriate corrective actions to avoid future recurrence. Some of the tools that are useful in this process include checklists, posters, and proformas. They are important when setting terms of reference, analyzing causes, and collecting and structuring pieces of information. The software tools are useful in the entire investigation procedure, analysis, tracking, and recording incident statistics, the causes, and the possible recommendations from the investigation.

What kind of incident investigation outcomes are there?

The overall goals of incident investigations are to determine the contributing factors of the incident, insurance purposes, and as a legislative requirement. When the outcomes or findings of the incident investigation process are implemented, they prevent future occurrence of the incident, hazard, or a near miss. The implemented corrective actions are, in turn, reviewed post the investigation to ascertain that they are effective in reducing the risk and make sure that the implementation process has not resulted in additional hazards.

How using mobile technology can help fast track and streamline this process and workflow

Mobile technology is getting regular improvements and has had multiple advancements in many sectors, not leaving behind workplace safety management. We can simply say that a combination of mobile technology with comprehensive incident management systems is the breakthrough to preventing the occurrence of incidents in the workplace. The findings can be documented using mobile EHS apps instead of using paper forms. The mobile incident recording apps tend to make incident investigation processes more efficient as you can capture and link photos, accurately identify the exact location, and record other invaluable data without necessarily having to use pens and papers. Every organisation needs a system that keeps all the incident records, efficiently allow in-depth investigation of incidents, accurately calculate the total cases incident rates, and run reports to determine the underlying trends.

Finally, the health and safety of employees should be ensured in their hands anytime and anywhere in an organisation. Also, everyone should be granted the power to immediately report any unusual event. It's more efficient to report, investigate, and document health and safety incidents when the workforce is equipped with the right set of incident management tools.

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