Thousands of workplace accidents occur in the US every day, usually caused by the failure of people or equipment and materials not functioning as expected. Accident investigations determine not only what happened, but also how and why. By using the information gained through an investigation, a similar or perhaps more serious accident may be prevented. An effective investigation program can help safeguard employees from future accidents and help protect employers from potential legal liability.

Ideally an accident investigation should be conducted by a person who is trained in workplace safety and investigation procedures as well as knowledgeable of the work processes related to the accident.  The investigation may involve a team, such as a supervisor who has received safety training, employees with knowledge of the work, a safety officer, a health and safety committee, a union representative, if applicable, and/or an independent safety expert.

Most accidents are preventable by eliminating one or more causes. By conducting thorough accident investigations, executives and managers can take an important step toward safeguarding their employees and protecting their organizations.

The OSHA Training Center is offering OSHA 7505 – Introduction to Incident (Accident) Investigation on October 9, 2018, in Dublin, CA, and on October 12, 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii.