Tips for Handling a Workplace Accident Investigation

Written by on 7/27/2016 3:51 AM in , , . It has 1 Comments.


A Minnesota workplace accident investigation is the first step toward preventing future incidents. As such, they require attention to detail to ensure success.

When conducting an investigation, be certain to:

1. Handle immediate risk.
Care for your injured worker first, administering first aid and calling for help. Block off the affected area until an investigation has been completed and it is deemed safe. Then document findings and treatments. Report the incident to your occupational health and safety board, then file the claim.

2. Collect evidence.
Examine the environment and consider job constraints along with worker/supervisor actions that could have played a role in the accident. Label the date and location of evidence collected. Consider factors such as:

  • Worker position/location.
  • Safety devices/equipment used.
  • Damage to equipment.
  • Noise, lighting, cleanliness, and weather at time of incident.
  • Training provided and procedure compliance.

3. Interview.
Compile written, audio, or video testimony from witnesses present for later consultation, especially in serious injuries where shock or unconsciousness could cloud recollections. Interview supervisors to document past and current equipment and safety training. Inform interviewees the purpose of the interview and instruct them to not discuss the incident with peers. Ask:

  • Where were they during the incident?
  • What were they doing?
  • What did they see/hear?
  • What were the environmental conditions?
  • What was the injured worker doing?
  • What caused the incident?
  • How might similar incidents be prevented?

4. Report.
Report investigation findings and corrective actions as required by law.

5. Take action.
Implement corrections as soon as the cause is determined. Document actions taken, including:

  • Repairs/replacements.
  • Safety signs/equipment.
  • Training.
  • New procedures.

Workplace accidents taking their toll on your business? Contact Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

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