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Accident Investigation

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  • Invite participants to think about the difference between incident and accident. Tell them to think about it because we will talk about it later. For the bullet: What RESULTS are you looking for: This would include removing or minimizing the potential for another occurrence. To seek to minimize the pain and suffering, equipment damage, loss of morale. Empower employees by having a system to address unsafe conditions or acts before other or more serious injuries occur As part of the bullet on WISHA requirements wee will discuss: When are you required to notify LNI? When are you required to conduct an investigation? What is required to be in the investigation?
  • Most everyone would agree that an accident is unplanned and unwanted. The idea that an accident is controllable might be a new concept. An accident stops the normal course of events and causes property damage, or personal injury, minor or serious and occasionally results in a fatality.
  • Ask audience to give examples of both incidents and accidents, using the definitions presented.
  • An incident disrupts the work process, does not result in injury or damage, but should be looked as a “wake up call”. Could be thought of as the first of a series of events which could lead to a situation in which harm or damage occurs. Employers should investigate an incident to determine the root cause and use the information to stop process and behaviors that could just as easily have resulted in an accident. Example of an incident: A 50 lb carton falls off the top shelf of a 12’ high rack and lands near a worker. This event is unplanned, unwanted, and has the potential for injury. Ask audience for example of a real incident that has occurred at their workplace. Then say: We will discuss why a policy that encourages resolution of incidents, near-misses, will be worth the time and effort.
  • Most workplace injuries and illness are not due to “accidents”. The term accident is defined as an unexpected or unintentional event, that it was “just bad luck”. More often than not it is a predictable or foreseeable “eventuality”. By “accidents” we mean events where employees are killed, maimed, injured, or become ill from exposure to toxic chemicals or microorganisms (TB, Hepatitis, HIV, Hantavirus etc). A systematic plan and follow through of investigating incidents or mishaps and altering behaviors can help stop a future accident. Let’s take our mythical 50 lb carton falling 12’, for the 2 nd time, only this time it hits a worker, causing injury. Predictable? Yes. Preventable? Yes.
  • Root cause analysis (RCA) is a systematic technique that focuses on finding the real cause of a problem and dealing with that, rather than just dealing with its symptoms. A direct cause is the cause that directly resulted in the occurrence. Example: in the case of a leak, the direct cause could have been the problem in the component or equipment that leaked. In the case of a system misalignment, the direct cause could have been operator error in adjustment of the alignment. An indirect cause is the cause that contributed to the occurrence but, by it self, would not have caused the occurrence. Examples: in the case of the leak, the indirect cause could be lack of adequate operator training in detecting the leak and identifying its source. In the case of the system misalignment, an indirect cause could be that the operator was distracted or that the tools to align the equipment had not been calibrated properly. A root cause is the cause that, if corrected, would prevent recurrence of this and similar occurrences. Example: in the case of the leak the root cause could be management not ensuring that the equipment is properly maintained. In the case of the system misalignment, the root cause could be an ineffective training program. A root cause of a consequence is any basic underlying cause that was not in turn caused by more important underlying causes.
  • The five whys is one of the simplest of the root cause analysis methodolgies. It is a question asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem . Ultimately, the goal of applying the 5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem. The following example demonstrates the basic process: My car will not start . (the problem) 1) Why? - The battery is dead. (first why) 2) Why? - The alternator is not functioning. (second why) 3) Why? - The alternator belt has broken. (third why) 4) Why? - The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and has never been replaced. (fourth why) 5) Why? - I have not been maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, root cause) Note that the questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or even greater level. This would be legitimate, as the five in five whys is not gospel; rather, it is postulated that five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause. The real key is to encourage the troubleshooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead to trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem. 5 Whys offers some real benefits at any maturity level: Simplicity .  It is easy to use and requires no advanced mathematics or tools. Effectiveness .  It truly helps to quickly separate symptoms from causes and identify the root case of a problem. Comprehensiveness . It aids in determining the relationships between various problem causes. Flexibility .  It works well alone and when combined with other quality improvement and trouble shooting techniques.   Engaging .  By its very nature, it fosters and produces teamwork and teaming within and without the organization. Inexpensive .  It is a guided, team focused exercise.  There are no additional costs.   Often the answer to the one “why” uncovers another reason and generates another “why.”  It often takes five “whys” to arrive at the root-cause of the problem.  You will probably find that you ask more or less than 5 “whys” in practice.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. If time: Ask audience: Any other reasons to investigate?
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. Briefly discuss the concept of “root causes”. Example: An employee gets cut. What is the cause? It is not just the saw or knife or the sharp nail. Was it a broken tool and no one reported? Did someone ignore a hazard because of lack of training, or a policy that discourages reporting? What are other examples of root causes? Enforcement failure, defective PPE, horseplay, no recognition plan, inadequate labeling.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. Links: Two examples are given of Reports, and one of a Checklist
  • The next set of slides will outline each component you need for effective Accident Investigation. Then we will look into each component in more detail. The time to develop your Company’s Accident Investigation Plan is before you have an incident or an accident. The who, when, where, what and how should be developed before the incident. Accident Investigation Training, investigation tools and your policies and procedures should be developed before the incident or accident. One size will not fit all. Your Company’s motor vehicle investigation reports will differ from your warehouse investigations as will your off-site investigations.
  • The next 6 slides will outline each component you need for effective Accident Investigation. Then we will look into each component in more detail. The time to develop your Company’s Accident Investigation Plan is before you have an incident or an accident. The who, when, where, what and how should be developed before the incident. Accident Investigation Training, investigation tools and your policies and procedures should be developed before the incident or accident. One size will not fit all. Your Company’s motor vehicle investigation reports will differ from your warehouse investigations as will your off-site investigations.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. Preplanning will help you address situations timely, reducing the chance for evidence to be lost and witnesses to forget. All procedures, forms, notifications, etc. need to be listed out as step-by-step procedures. You might wish to develop a flow chart to quickly show the major components of your program.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. The plan will provide instructions on actions to be taken by key people in your business, assigning roles and responsibilities. Some expansion questions on the above points are: Who will be trained to investigate? Who is responsible for the finished report and what is the time frame? Who receives copies of the report? Who determines which of the the recommendations will be implemented? Who is responsible for implementing the recommendations? Safety, Training, Operations? Who goes back and assures that fixes are in place? Who assures that fixes are effective?
  • These are some common items for a kit. What else might be useful? Anything from specific types of businesses that might be needed?
  • This statement is true for both near-misses, mishaps (incidents) as well as accidents in which injuries or illnesses have resulted.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. First, make sure you and others don’t become victims! Always check for still-present dangerous situations. Then, help the injured as necessary Secure the scene and initiate chains of custody for physical evidence Identify witnesses and physical evidence Separate witnesses from one another If physical evidence is stabilized, then begin as quickly as possible with interviews REMEMBER, BE A GOOD LISTENER
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. This slide and the next will show what you should take notes on at the accident or incident scene. Have discussion with the audience on each point as it appears.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. Some scenes are more delicate then others. If items of physical evidence are time sensitive address those first. If items of evidence are numerous then you may need additional assistance. Some scenes will return to normal very quickly. Are you prepared to be able to recreate the scene from your documentation? Consider creating a photo log. The log should describe the date, time, give a description of what is captured in the photo and directionality. Example: Photo # 4, February 1, 2004, 10:36 AM, Northeast corner of Warehouse Number 2, Row 11, Bin 14, showing carton that fell from top shelf. Note: crushed bottom corner of carton and wet area under carton on floor. Link to sketch of bakery accident scene: Tell the audience how much information can be captured through a simple line drawing using stick figures. They don’t need to be an artist.
  • Your method and outcome of interview should include: who is to be interviewed first; who is credible; who can corroborate information you know is accurate; how to ascertain the truth bases on a limitation of numbers of witnesses. Be respectful, are you the best person to conduct the interview? If the issue is highly technical consider a specialist, this may be an internal resource or it may be an outside resource.
  • Incident and Accident reports are a compilation of facts. They include: Writing an accurate narrative of “what happened” Clear description of unsafe ACT or CONDITION Recommended immediate corrective action Recommended long-term corrective action Recommended follow up to assure fix is in place Recommended review to assure correction is effective. The majority of the rest of this presentation will expand on the six points we just covered about how to investigate accidents and incidents.
  • Remember that your report needs to be based on facts. All recommendations should be based on accurate documented findings of facts and all findings and recommendations should be from verifiable sources.
  • A timeline or chronological narrative is sometimes helpful.
  • Conclusions must always be based upon facts found during your investigation. If additional resources are needed during the implementation of recommendations then provide options. Having a comprehensive plan in place will allow for the success of your investigation. Success of an investigation is the implementation of viable corrections and their ongoing use.
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. The four rules outlined to emphasize that there are actual WAC rule requirements.
  • Review the required information that must be provided to L&I: 1- Name of the work place 2- Location of the incident 3- Time and date of the incident 4- Number of fatalities or hospitalized employees 5- Contact person 6- Phone number 7- Brief description of the incident
  • Bullets will appear upon mouse click. Having a plan in place allows you to document the scene, identify witnesses, and establish a chain of custody for physical evidence.
  • Having an Accident Investigation Plan in place allows for an organized systematic approach and lends to the appearance of a structured, thought out program.
  • What is a serious injury? There is no definition in the rule. The employer is left to make that determination. Certainly medical treatment beyond first –aid. Points to discuss with the audience: Did the accident produce an acute or chronic injury, is it recordable on the OSHA 300, what about loss time, restrictions or transfer?
  • A comprehensive consultation visit will lower but not remove your business’s name from the current cycle of scheduled compliance inspections but will not exempt you from: imminent danger fatality accident complaint/referral inspections by compliance Comprehensive consultation means a review of injury data, all written safety programs, physical walk through of the entire workplace, written report to the employer and confirmation of correction of all serious hazards identified.

Accident Investigation Accident Investigation Presentation Transcript

  • Accident Investigation Basics How to do a workplace accident investigation Developed by the Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH) December, 2009
  • What you will learn  What is an accident or incident?  Why should you investigate both?  How do you find the true cause?  How should you investigate?  What should be the results of the investigation?  What are you required to do for L & I - DOSH?
  • What Is An Accident? An unplanned, unwanted, but controllable event which disrupts the work process and causes injury to people. Most everyone would agree that an accident is unplanned and unwanted. The idea that an accident is controllable might be a new concept. An accident stops the normal course of events and causes property damage or personal injury, minor or serious, and occasionally results in a fatality.
  • What is an “Accident”? By dictionary definition: “an unforeseen event”, “chance”, “unexpected happening”, formerly “Act of God” Hazardous conditions Close calls Minor injuries Severe Injuries Fatalities • From experience and analysis: they are “caused occurrences” – Predictable - the logical outcome of hazards – Preventable and avoidable - hazards do not have to exist. They are caused by things people do -- or fail to do.
  • What Is An Incident? An unplanned and unwanted event which disrupts the work process and has the potential of resulting in injury, harm, or damage to persons or property. An incident may disrupt the work process, but does not result in injury or damage. It should be looked as a “wake up call”. It can be thought of as the first of a series of events which could lead to a situation in which harm or damage does occur. Example of an incident: A 50 lb carton falls off the top shelf of a 12’ high rack and lands near a worker. This event is unplanned, unwanted, and has the potential for injury.
  • Accidents Don’t Just Happen  An accident is not “just one of those things”.  Accidents are predictable and preventable events.  They don’t have to happen. Most workplace injuries and illness are not due to “accidents”. More often than not it is a predictable or foreseeable eventuality. By “accidents” we mean events where employees are killed, maimed, injured, or become ill from exposure to toxic chemicals or microorganisms (TB, hepatitis, HIV) A systematic plan and follow through of investigating incidents or mishaps and altering behaviors can help stop a future accident. Let’s take the 50 lb carton falling 12 feet for the second time, only this time it hits a worker, causing injury. Predictable? Yes. Preventable? Yes. Investigating why the carton fell will usually lead to solution to prevent it from falling in the future.
  • “The Tip of the Iceberg” Don’t investigate only accidents. Incidents should also be reported and investigated. They were in a sense, “aborted accidents”. Criteria for investigating an incident: What is reasonably the worst outcome, equipment damage, or injury to the worker? What might the severity of the worst outcome have been? If it would have resulted in significant property loss or a serious injury, then the incident should be investigated with the same thoroughness as an accident investigation. Accidents or injuries are the tip of the iceberg of hazards. Investigate incidents since they are potential “accidents in progress”. Accidents Incidents
  • Lack of safety leadership Lack of supervision Lack of Training Missing guard Rules not enforced Poor work procedures Purchasing unsafe equipment No follow-up/feedback Poor safetymanagement Poor safety leadership Didn’t follow procedures Poor housekeeping Horseplay Ignored safety rules Defective tools Don’t know howNo MSDS’s The “Accident Weed” Hazardous Conditions Hazardous Practices Did not report hazard Equipment failure Root Causes
  • Root Cause Analysis  Direct Cause – Unplanned release of energy or hazardous materials  Indirect Cause – Unsafe acts and/or unsafe conditions  Root Cause – policies and decisions, personal factors, environmental factors Root cause analysis is a systematic technique that focuses on finding the real cause of a problem and dealing with that, rather than just dealing with its symptoms. A root cause is the cause that, if corrected, would prevent recurrence of this and similar occurrences. A root cause of a consequence is any basic underlying cause that was not in turn caused by more important underlying causes.
  • The Five Whys  Basic Question - Keeping asking “What caused or allowed this condition/practice to occur?” until you get to root causes.  The “five whys” is one of the simplest of the root cause analysis methods. It is a question-asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying the 5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem. The following example demonstrates the basic process: My car will not start. (the problem) 1) Why? - The battery is dead. (first why) 2) Why? - The alternator is not functioning. (second why) 3) Why? - The alternator belt has broken. (third why) 4) Why? - The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and has never been replaced. (fourth why) 5) Why? - I have not been maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why and the root cause)
  • Simplicity. It is easy to use and requires no advanced mathematics or tools. Effectiveness. It truly helps to quickly separate symptoms from causes and identify the root case of a problem. Comprehensiveness. It aids in determining the relationships between various problem causes. Flexibility. It works well alone and when combined with other quality improvement and trouble shooting techniques. Engaging. By its very nature, it fosters and produces teamwork and teaming within and without the organization. Inexpensive. It is a guided, team focused exercise. There are no additional costs. Often the answer to the one “why” uncovers another reason and generates another “why.” It often takes “five whys” to arrive at the root-cause of the problem. You will probably find that you ask more or less than “five whys” in practice. Benefit of Asking the Five Whys
  • Why Investigate?  Prevent future incidents (leading to accidents).  Identify and eliminate hazards.  Expose deficiencies in process and/or equipment.  Reduce injury and worker compensation costs.  Maintain worker morale.  Meet DOSH rule requirement that you investigate serious accidents.
  • Investigate All Incidents and Accidents  Conduct and document an investigation that answers: – Who was present? – What activities were occurring? – What happened? – Where and what time? – Why did it happen? Root causes should be determined. Example: An employee gets cut. What is the cause? It is not just the saw or knife or the sharp nail. Was it a broken tool and no one reported? Did someone ignore a hazard because of lack of training, or a policy that discourages reporting? What are other examples of root causes? Enforcement failure, defective PPE, horseplay, no recognition plan, inadequate labeling.
  • Investigate All Incidents and Accidents  Also answer: – Is this a company or industry-recognized hazard? – Has the company taken previous action to control this hazard? – What are those actions? – Is this a training issue? Link to sample accident investigation form
  • How To Investigate – Main Steps  Develop a plan  Assemble an investigation kit  Investigate all incidents and accidents immediately  Collect facts  Interview witnesses  Write a report
  • How To Investigate  Develop a plan The next several slides will outline each component you need for effective accident investigation. Then we will look into each component in more detail. The time to develop your company’s accident investigation plan is before you have an incident or an accident. The who, when, where, what and how should be developed before the incident. accident investigation training, investigation tools and your policies and procedures should be developed before the incident or accident. One size will not fit all. Your company’s motor vehicle investigation reports will differ from your warehouse investigations, as will your off-site investigations.
  • Tips for Developing An Accident Investigation Plan  Develop your action plan ahead of time.  Your plan might include: – Who to notify in the workplace? – How to notify outside agencies? – Who will conduct the internal investigation? Preplanning will help you address situations timely, reducing the chance for evidence to be lost and witnesses to forget. All procedures, forms, notifications, etc. need to be listed out as step-by-step procedures. You might wish to develop a flow chart to quickly show the major components of your program.
  • Tips for Developing a Plan (continued) – What level of training is needed? – Who receives report? – Who decides what corrections will be taken and when? – Who writes report and performs follow up? Some expansion questions on the above points are: Who will be trained to investigate? Who is responsible for the finished report and what is the time frame? Who receives copies of the report? Who determines which of the recommendations will be implemented? Who is responsible for implementing the recommendations? Who goes back and assures that fixes are in place? Who assures that fixes are effective?
  • What Should Be In The “Investigation Kit” Camera equipment First aid kit Tape recorder Gloves Tape measure Large envelopes High visibility tape Report forms Scissors Graph paper Scotch tape Sample containers with labels Personal protective equipment Items specific to your worksite
  • Begin Investigation Immediately  It’s crucial to collect evidence and interview witnesses as soon as possible because evidence will disappear and people will forget.
  • How Do You Start the Investigation?  Notify individuals according to your “plan”  You must involve an employee representative, the immediate supervisor, and other people with knowledge  Grab your “investigation kit”  Approach the scene
  • Actions At The Accident Scene  Check for danger  Help the injured  Secure the scene  Identify and separate witnesses  Gather the facts First, make sure you and others don’t become victims! Always check for still- present dangerous situations. Then, help the injured as necessary. Secure the scene and initiate chains of custody for physical evidence. Identify witnesses and physical evidence. Separate witnesses from one another If physical evidence is stabilized, then begin as quickly as possible with interviews.
  • Fact Finding  Witnesses and physical evidence  Employees/other witnesses  Position of tools and equipment  Equipment operation logs, charts, records  Equipment identification numbers
  • Fact Finding  Take notes on environmental conditions, air quality  Take samples  Note housekeeping and general working environment  Note floor or working surface condition  Take many pictures  Draw the scene Some scenes are more delicate then others. If items of physical evidence are time sensitive address those first. If items of evidence are numerous then you may need additional assistance. Some scenes will return to normal very quickly. Are you prepared to be able to recreate the scene from your documentation? Consider creating a photo log. The log should describe the date, time, give a description of what is captured in the photo and directionality. Link to sketch of accident scene.
  • Interview Witnesses  Interview promptly after the incident  Choose a private place to talk  Keep conversations informal  Talk to witnesses as equals  Ask open ended questions  Listen. Don’t blame, just get facts  Ask some questions you know the answers to Your method and outcome of interview should include: who is to be interviewed first, who is credible, who can corroborate information you know is accurate, how to ascertain the truth bases on a limitation of numbers of witnesses. Be respectful - are you the best person to conduct the interview? If the issue is highly technical, consider an internal or external specialist for assistance.
  • Write a Report The report should include: - An accurate narrative of “what happened” - Clear description of unsafe act or condition - Recommended immediate corrective action - Recommended long-term corrective action - Recommended follow up to assure fix is in place - Recommended review to assure correction is effective.
  • Write The Report  How and why did the accident happen? – A list of suspected causes and human actions – Use information gathered from sketches, photographs, physical evidence, witness statements Remember that your report needs to be based on facts. All recommendations should be based on accurate documented findings of facts and all findings and recommendations should be from verifiable sources.
  • Write The Report  When and where did the accident happen?  What was the sequence of events?  Who was involved?  What injuries occurred or what equipment was damaged?  How were the employees injured? Answer the following in the report:
  • Conclusions of Report – What should happen to prevent future accidents? – What resources are needed? – Who is responsible for making changes? – Who will follow up and insure changes are implemented? – What will be the future long-term procedures? If additional resources are needed during the implementation of recommendations, then provide options. Having a comprehensive plan in place will allow for the success of your investigation. Success of an investigation is the implementation of viable corrections and their ongoing use. The outcome of an investigation of the 50 lb. carton falling off the top shelf of the 12 ft. high rack might include correction of sloppy storage at several locations in the warehouse, moving unstable/heavy items to floor level, conducting refresher training for stockers on proper storage methods, and supervisors doing daily checks. Report conclusions should answer the following:
  • When Accidents Occur, What Is Required By L & I? – WAC 296-800-32005 – Report a death or hospitalization to L & I with specific information – WAC 296-800-32010 – Do not move equipment – WAC 296-800-32015 – Assign people to assist L & I investigators – WAC 296-800-32020 – For all serious injuries, conduct a preliminary investigation There are four specific requirements: Link to these rules
  • Report A Death or Hospitalization  Report the death, probable death, or the in- patient hospitalization of 1 or more employees within 8 hours to Labor and Industries at 1-800-4BE-SAFE WAC 296-800-32005 The required information that must be provided to L&I: 1- Name of the work place 2- Location of the incident 3- Time and date of the incident 4- Number of fatalities or hospitalized employees 5- Contact person 6- Phone number 7- Brief description of the incident
  • Do Not Move Equipment  IF: A death or probable death happens or one or more employees are admitted to the hospital  THEN: You must not move any equipment until L&I says you can  UNLESS: You must move the equipment to remove victims or prevent further injury WAC 296-800-32010
  • Assign People to Assist L&I  The immediate supervisor of victim  employees who witnessed the accident  other employees L&I feels are necessary WAC 296-800-32015
  • Conduct a Preliminary Investigation WAC 296-800-32020  Evaluate facts relating to cause of accident by involving the following people: – Person assigned by employer – Immediate supervisor of injured employee – Witnesses – Employee representative – Any other person who has the experience and skills (Required for all serious injuries) WAC 296-800-32025 – Document your findings Link to Sample Accident Investigation form
  • Need further help?  Safety & health program review and worksite evaluation • By employer invitation only • Free • Confidential • No citations • No penalties • Letter explains findings • Follow-up all serious hazards DOSH Consultation Services offers… For additional assistance, you can call one of our consultants. Click below for the local L & I office locations: http://www.lni.wa.gov/wisha/consultation/regional_consultants.htm