A Step-by-Step Guide on Conducting a Workplace Accident Investigation

A Step-by-Step Guide on Conducting a Workplace Accident Investigation

Workplace safety is paramount, and when an accident occurs, a thorough investigation is essential to understand the root causes and prevent future incidents. In this blog post, we’ll unravel the process of conducting an effective accident investigation at work, providing a step-by-step guide for employers, safety officers, and employees alike.

Immediate Response:
  • Is the area safe to approach?  Is there any immediate action needing to be taken to prevent further harm from occurring? E.g isolating the area.
  • If safe to do so, Identify if there are any injured people who require first aid treatment.
Step 1 Gather information:
  • Secure the scene
  • Collect witness statements, if there are many witnesses think about separating them.
  •  Collect information such as:
Written description of working conditions such as temperature, wind speed etc

4. Review documentation that may be available to assist you:

Risk assessments
Safe systems of works
Health and Safety Policy
Training/competency records
Permits to work
Maintenance records
Site Plans/area layout plans
Previous accident reports
Sickness and absence records
Step 2 :Analysing the information

Determine what the immediate and underlying root cause of the incident.

Immediate causes

The obvious cause that gave rise to the incident itself.  For example, worker suffers a pulled muscle in their back when transporting a load. The immediate cause of the accident is that the worker was carrying a load incorrectly.

Root cause

Items that lie behind the immediate cause and quite often failures in the health and safety management system e.g:

  • Incorrect equipment provided.
  • Lack of maintenance for any equipment provided.
  • Lack of training
  • Failure to supervise workers.
  • Failure to provide PPE.
  • Failure to carry out proper risk assessments.



Step 3 identifying suitable control measures

Once the immediate and root cause has been identified, it will enable you to decide on the appropriate control measures to be implemented to minimise the risk of the incident occurring again.


Step 4 Planning remedial actions. 
  • Create an action plan of the remedial actions to be taken to prevent the incident from occurring again.
  • Implement the action plan.
  • Review any risk assessments and/or safe systems of works.
  • Ensure you pass on the findings to all staff.


Conducting a workplace accident investigation is not just about identifying blame but rather about creating a safer work environment for all. By following this step-by-step guide, organisations can foster a culture of safety, reduce the risk of future accidents, and prioritise the well-being of their employees.


If you are not sure of the next steps to take following on from a workplace incident contact us today.


About Us

Westminster Compliance was established to provide a more personal, proactive health and safety consultancy that would keep businesses working and compliant with ever-changing legislation.

Our presentations and training are interesting and fun because we want our clients to buy into health and safety, and definitely not to see it as a boring, unnecessary nuisance. We know that our best service is provided to small and medium sized organisations and have developed a system that works in most industries.
We stick with straightforward language, keeping away from jargon, and do not make ridiculous promises. Most importantly, we realise that we are working with human beings.

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