OSHA strongly encourages employers to investigate all incidents in which a worker was hurt as well as close calls (near misses) in which a worker might have been hurt if the circumstances had been slightly different.

Investigating a worksite incident— a fatality, injury, illness, or close call— provides employers and workers the opportunity to identify hazards in their operations and shortcomings in their safety and health programs. It also enables employers and workers to identify and implement corrective actions to prevent future incidents.

Incident investigations that focus on identifying and correcting root causes, not on finding fault or blame, also improve workplace morale and increase productivity by demonstrating an employer’s commitment to a safe and healthful workplace.

Addressing root causes is necessary to truly understand why an incident occurred, to develop corrective actions that are effective, and to minimize or eliminate serious consequences from similar future incidents.

For more information see OSHA’s Fact Sheet on the Importance of Root Cause Analysis and visit OSHA’s Incident Investigation webpage.