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OSHA publishes guide to help employers with incident investigations

Document helps identify root causes of accidents

Posted December 18, 2015

In December 2015, OSHA released a publication, Incident [Accident] Investigations: A Guide for Employers. The purpose of the guide is to provide employers a systems approach to help them identify and control the underlying or root causes of all incidents in order to prevent their recurrence.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than a dozen workers died every day in American workplaces in 2013, and nearly 4 million Americans suffered a serious workplace injury. And tens of thousands are sickened or die from diseases resulting from their chronic exposures to toxic substances or stressful workplace conditions.

According to OSHA, all incidents — regardless of size or impact — need to be investigated. The process helps employers look beyond what happened to discover why it happened. This will aid employers in identifying and correcting shortcomings in their safety and health management programs.

In the guide, OSHA uses a four-step process for employers to conduct workplace incident investigations. The publication includes an Incident Investigation Form that employers can use to help make sure all details of the incident investigation are covered. The guide has also has additional tools for employers, including an incident investigator’s kit, techniques to sketch a scene, and a check list for information collection.

OSHA Incident Tracker ToolJ. J. Keller's OSHA Incident Tracker™ Tool is an up-to-date online service that helps you simplify your OSHA Form 300 and worker's compensation recordkeeping.


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