Steps to follow after an on-site accident

Workplace accidents happen. No matter how much employee training or emphasis you place on workplace safety, accidents happen.

Leon Williams Contractors, a leader in commercial construction in East Tennessee, offers you steps to take following an on-site accident.

The information that follows is intended to be a general guide for supervisors. The accident investigation process involves the following steps:

  • Report the accident occurrence to a designated person within the organization
  • Provide first aid and medical care to injured person(s) and prevent further injuries or damage
  • Investigate the accident
  • Identify the causes
  • Report the findings
  • Develop a plan for corrective action
  • Implement the plan
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the corrective action
  • Make changes for continuous improvement

As little time as possible should be lost between the moment of an accident or near miss and the beginning of the investigation. In this way, one is most likely to be able to observe the conditions as they were at the time, prevent disturbance of evidence, and identify witnesses.

When accidents are investigated, the emphasis should be concentrated on finding the root cause of the accident rather than the investigation procedure itself so you can prevent it from happening again. The purpose is to find facts that can lead to actions, not to find fault. Always look for deeper causes. Do not simply record the steps of the event.

Reasons to investigate a workplace accident include:

  • Find out the cause of accidents and to prevent similar accidents in the future
  • Fulfill any legal requirements
  • Determine the cost of an accident
  • Determine compliance with applicable safety regulations
  • Process workers’ compensation claims

Incidents that involve no injury or property damage should still be investigated to determine the hazards that should be corrected. The same principles apply to a quick inquiry of a minor incident and to the more formal investigation of a serious event.

So, handle accident investigations quickly to relieve stress on all parties involved. Be sure to follow the proper protocol on each incident and do not cut corners. And finally, be open and transparent.

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