Accident Investigations: 5 Steps to Preserve Your Bottom Line
A solid accident and incident investigation process is a critical component of an effective safety program. After all, if you complete a thorough investigation and determine why an accident or incident occurred, you have the information and knowledge for preventing a future occurrence. The way to successfully accomplish this critical task is by drilling down to the root cause.Engaging in a methodical, systematic, and comprehensive root cause analysis is a proven method for achieving success. When properly structured, implemented, and followed, it is one of the most effective and efficient methods for performing investigations.
5 Steps to Preserve Bottom Line
1. Be a Hazard Detective
Workplace conditions are always changing, so if you let your guard down and take things for granted, a hazard might develop where you least expect it. And you can’t assume everything’s safe just because employees don’t bring hazards to your attention or complain of safety problems.You have to get out there and see for yourself.Take a few minutes every day to conduct a walk-through of the work areas you supervise. Create a checklist to make sure you identify all potential hazards. As you walk around, watch employees working, too. Make sure they’re wearing PPE and following safety procedures. Stop and talk for a minute with key employees to see if anybody’s having any problems.
2. Analyse Jobs for Safety’s Sake
Know each job in your department so well that you can spot every potential hazard. If a different method will eliminate a hazard, introduce it. If PPE is required,make sure it’s available.And think about housekeeping requirements, too. Sometimes, hazards are created as a by-product of a job-combustible scrap and trash, for example, or tools left lying around where somebody could trip over them.
3. Communicate Frequently
Talk to your people about safety at every opportunity. Keep them up to date on new information that affects their safety. Provide lots of feedback, praising safe performance, correcting unsafe behavior, and pointing out areas for improve- ment.And make sure communication flows both ways.Encourage your employ- ees to come to you with safety suggestions, problems, and questions.
4. Be Specific
Generalized statements about working safely are like sound bites-they don’t tell you much and they aren’t too helpful. Be specific about what employees have to do (and how to do it!) to protect themselves. If you’re worried about employees remembering all the details, provide them with handouts and job aids like check- lists, procedural guidelines, and operating manuals.
5. Create a Want-To Safety Culture
Finally, try to create a safety culture in your department in which employees do the safe thing not because they have to, but because they want to- because they want to avoid injuries so that they can go home to their families in one piece at the end of the workday. Help employees see the value in making the safe decisions. Remind them how many safety-related decisions they make every day and how one bad decision is all it takes to get hurt.