The benefits of investigating are that you identify the immediate, underlying and root causes, which will allow measures to be implemented to prevent a recurrence. You can also gain a better understanding of the risks associated with work activities, therefore reducing the number of accidents.
It is essential the management and the workforce are fully involved in any investigation. A joint approach will ensure a wide range of practical knowledge and experience has a voice whilst reinforcing the message that the investigation is for the benefit of everyone.
Five Stages of an Accident Investigation
It is important an accident is recorded and reported speedily. Usually an accident only needs to be reported internally; however certain types of accidents need to be reported within 24-hours, by law, to the HSE or Local Authority. These are listed in RIDDOR
Gathering statements and evidence from the parties involved in an accident is essential. Details of whom and how they were involved can lead to a better understanding of what happened. Photographs are a good way of recording the scene of an accident.
This is the stage where you can start to piece together the evidence and information you have and begin to understand what happened and, more importantly, the underlying reasons for the accident. You need to establish the cause(s) of the accident, which can be classed as immediate causes, underlying causes and root causes.
Identifying Risk Control Measures
The fact an event has occurred suggests the existing risk control measures were inadequate. After the accident has been examined, and the causes have been identified, control measures can be identified that will 'cut off the root'.
Using an online Risk Management tool helps to ensure you have the right procedures in place to monitor the quality of service that is being provided, as well as being compliant. Risks can be identified, monitored and managed whilst improvements to the service can be made through learning from events, incidents, errors and near misses.
Action Planning and Implementing
Finally a plan needs to be put in place for implementing the control measures that have been identified. This should include checking and reviewing risk assessments, reviewing staff training and providing feedback to all parties involved.
Prevention - How to manage your risk
Here are some prevention actions to help manage your risk:
Carry out a risk assessment and review
Keep accurate and up-to-date records
Why you should inform your insurer
If an accident occurs within your business and you do not report it immediately to your insurer it may delay the ability to investigate the accident and could result in a refusal to grant indemnity. Late notification means your Insurer will be operating within extremely tight timescales and failure to meet them can result in financial penalties and may prevent a proper defence.
If you report an accident as soon as it happens, your insurer can appoint a Claims Investigator who will be sent out to visit the scene of the accident and gather information that can be put together in case a claim is made against you.
Free Risk Management Advice and Support
As a specialist insurance provider, we pride ourselves on being more than just a broker.
Due to the knowledge and expertise of our care team, we are well positioned to offer you advice and support on any element of risk management. We can help you to reduce risk by having correct processes and procedures in place and also by helping you to pre-empt risks you may face and minimise the impact of them - for example if you are planning a fundraising event. Contact our team for more information.