Should each accident be investigated or the only those that result in serious or severe injury? In fact, the primary determinant is the potential of the accident that causes the harm rather than the actual harm resulting.
For example, the slip can result in an embarrassing flailing of arms or, just as quickly, a broken leg. The frequency of occurrence the accident type is also essential – The stream of the minor cuts from the paper needs looking where is it?.
As it’s not likely to determine the potential for the harm directly from the resulting injury, the only sensible solution is to investigate all the accidents. The amount of the time and the effort spent on the investigation should, however, vary depending on the level of the risk (severity of potential harm, the frequency of occurrence).
The most effort should be focused on the significant incidents involving the ill health or losses, severe injury, and the events which have the potential for the multiple or the severe harm to the people or actual damages.
These circumstances should become evident during the accident investigation, and these should be used to guide how much the time should be taken.
The following table shown here has been developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to help to define the level of the investigation which is suitable. The potential worst injury results in any particular situation should be considered whenever using the table.
A particular incident like a scaffold collapse may not have caused an injury but had the potential to cause significant or fatal injuries.
In a minimal-level investigation, the appropriate supervisor will see the facts of the incident/accident and try to get any lessons which will prevent or stop the future incidents or accidents.
The low-level investigation will involve the little investigation by the relevant or appropriate supervisor or the line manager into the facts and the immediate underlying and the leading root causes of the incident/accident, to try to prevent or stop the recurrence and to acquire any general lessons.
A medium-level investigation will involve the more detailed investigation by the relevant or associated supervisor or the line manager, the health and safety adviser and the employee representatives and will look for the immediate, underlying and the root causes.
A high-level investigation will involve the team-based investigation, involving the supervisors or the line managers, health and safety advisers and the employee representatives. It will be done under the supervision of the senior management or the directors and will look for the immediate, underlying and the root causes.