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Approaching Accidents and Incidents in the Workplace

20th September 2017

The cause of an accidents has been greatly linked to human error and complacency in the workplace however, it is important to remember that all accidents stem from a root cause that can be preventable and avoidable at most part. 

In any workplace environment, it is important to identify all causes of an accident or incident with a systematic investigation in order to eliminate and prevent re-occurrence and to hold a detailed accident investigation report for all safety and legal circumstances. 

All accidents, irrespective of the resulting injury or damage must be reported according to the laid down procedures of the site or business in question and a defined root cause must be recorded. 

The accidents should be defined under three key causes: 

  • Immediate: A direct reason for the injury happening. This can range from an abrasive wheel blade to concrete dust. 

  • Underlying: The unsafe or inadequacy action that resulted in the injury such as a wheel's safety guard being removed or an air vent not working. 

  • Root: The lack of control factors in the workplace. This could be the dismissal of initial staff training or lack of knowledge on the equipment. 

A thorough accident investigation should highlight causes that fall into all three categories to cover all aspects of health and safety. Once these have been identified for the accident in question, the company can then put control measures in place for continual improvement in the workplace. 

The HSE recognises the investigation process as a four-step procedure; to collect information related to the accident, analyse the information, to identify any risk control measures and to then implement the action plan in order to cover these measures and prevent accident re-occurrence. 

In 2015/2016 according the HSE, there was a recorded 72, 702 non-fatal workplace accidents reported under the Health and Safety standards which state that experienced health and safety personnel must investigate factors that could have influenced the behaviour of the individual such as distraction, fatigue or supervision. Once these factors have been considered and eliminated from the equation, health and safety personnel can the address all other areas to distinguish what the root cause was and implement a solution. 

The results of the investigation must be clear and concise and highlight a new plan going forward. It should also set an array of developments that cover short, medium and long term risks. 

For more information on how to implement safety into your workplace, call us today 01246 386900. 


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