Accident InvestigationWestminster Compliance | 13/07/2018
Accidents happen. We are all human, so this is simply a fact. We must try our best to prevent accidents and we can do this by looking for hazards and assessing the risks they present. But by looking at the past we can make judgements for the future. By investigating accidents and “near misses” we can prevent similar occurrences in the future. Every year in the UK (and across the world) people die and are injured whilst at work causing terrible misery and losing millions of working hours each year.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act of 1974 was legislation passed as recognition of the need for healthier and safer working places and working practices. All the current health and safety legislation around today stems from this first piece of law passed by the UK government in 1974 and the legislation applies to all people at work. Once an organisation specifies its arrangements to comply with this Act then it must risk assess all of its activities to help prevent accidents.
When an accident or near miss occurs, it MUST be recorded and investigated. The circumstances of the incident must be investigated to establish the cause(s) and to identify the changes required to prevent a recurrence. Although some people may think that accident investigation is something that is instigated by insurance companies as we are in the “blame game” culture, the prevention of future accidents must remain the primary objective.
Accidents must be reported as stipulated by the law, but the process of investigation is a very important part of future prevention. Reports must be analysed, new risk assessments undertaken, additional/different control measures established and an action plan approved. Every step must be recorded and held on file as proof of the actions that have been taken.
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