Review accidents to learn their causes

Feb 25, 2021
Written by Washington Retail

Whenever an accident occurs where you work, you should always retrace the steps that led to it to determine how to avoid a similar mishap in the future.

There are several questions you should ask to unpack potential reasons for an accident:

  • Why an action made sense to the employee?
  • How training (or its lack) impacted each step?
  • How communication (or its lack) impacted each step?
  • How planning (or its lack) impacted each step?
  • How procedures (or their lack) impacted each step?
  • How the employee took ownership?
  • How management took ownership?

Once you figure out what went wrong, put corrective actions in place to avoid the mistake or oversight in the future. With the knowledge gained, communicate to all what happened and how it has been corrected so that a similar event can be prevented.

Organizations cannot correct what they do not know. Effective accident investigation programs encourage personnel to report all incidents, including first aid only injuries, recordable injuries and even barely avoided accidents. When the workforce embraces the importance of reporting, it has an opportunity to correct small problems before they become larger issues.

An Incident Report template can be found here.

WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety and Education who is available to help members with safety plans and suggestions for safety meeting topics. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected]