Accident-Investigation

Toolbox Talk – Accident Investigation Responsibilities

Date: ____________________________________

Supervisor: _______________________________

Company Name: _____________________________

Job Name: ______________________________

It is important to have a thorough structure in place for accident investigations. If management, supervisors, and employees know their roles in the aftermath of an accident, then the cause of the accident can be quickly identified and corrected. When everyone clearly understand their responsibilities after an accident, then the entire company can work together to make the workplace safer for all. Additionally, using critical thinking skills in accident investigations can sharpen your employees’ awareness, and nudge them to use the same skills to recognize potential hazards in the future.

Guidelines for Discussion:

After an accident occurs, it is important to launch a prompt, thorough investigation. Investigations help pinpoint the cause of an accident, and they help to identify and correct any problems, hazards, or gaps in your current safety procedures. During accident investigations, everyone has a set of specific responsibilities. These responsibilities depend upon a person’s role in the company.

Management:

  • Properly train all supervisors to both prevent and investigate accidents.
  • Ensure all accidents and injuries are properly investigated.
  • Oversee the implementation of corrective measures after the cause of an accident is determined.
  • Organize and archive all accident reports.
  • Ensure that all accident reports are properly recorded within the OSHA log.

Supervisors:

  • Personally manage immediate accident investigations.
  • Communicate with management immediately after the event occurs.
  • Communicate with employees and direct them to safety if necessary.
  • Do not assign or imply blame for accidents.
  • Collect and preserve all evidence that may be useful in an investigation (including photographs).
  • Interview witnesses, as well as any injured workers if they are in stable condition.
  • Take action to correct any problems revealed in the accident investigation.

Employees:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to your coworkers, and communicate if you notice a potential hazard.
  • Report any dangerous conditions and near-misses to the supervisor.
  • Immediately report any accidents or injuries to the supervisor.
  • Assist as requested in all accident investigations, and communicate your perspective if you were a witness to the accident.

The following are examples of unsafe acts and conditions that can lead to accidents:

  • Use of equipment by untrained personnel
  • Running or other hasty movements, especially around heavy machinery or moving parts
  • Goofing off, practical jokes, or pranks
  • Use of damaged personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Incorrect or insufficient use of PPE
  • Impairment by drugs or alcohol
  • Ergonomic hazards
  • Environmental hazards
  • Inadequate machine guarding, caution tape, or warning signs
  • Untreated health conditions (chronic or spontaneous, such as heat exhaustion, excessive fatigue, and frostbite)

If any of the above conditions are ever noticed by an employee, he or she should report concerns to the supervisor. Communication goes a long way in accident prevention.

Additional Discussion Notes:

After reading through the list of responsibilities and examples of unsafe conditions, take some time at the end of the meeting to ask your employees whether or not they have noticed anything unsafe that could be improved. For instance, you could redesign a work station for improved visibility, rewrite a safety policy, implement new caution signs, or retrain your employees in a specific matter.

Safety Recommendations: _____________________

Job Specific Topics: ___________________________

Material Data Sheet (MDS) Reviewed: ____________

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Disclaimer

The information contained within this document (both the online and downloadable version) is provided for informational purposes only. Nobody shall take this as a comprehensive or exhaustive resource on this topic. This material is believed to be accurate, however, the information has been compiled from multiple sources, and so Industrial Compliance & Safety assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of this information. We encourage you to consult experts about this specific Toolbox Talk to ensure you are compliant with any and all safety regulations and processes. In no event does the content of this document supersede any applicable local, state, or federal statutes or regulations.

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