• 3000+ writers
  • From all 50 states
  • Top 4% of all who apply

Keep Employees Safe in 2023: Why You Should Conduct Incident Investigations

By a Verblio Writer

(1076 words)

According to BLS, about 4,764 American workers lose their lives on the job every year. That works out to about one death every 111 minutes on the job or an average of thirteen deaths daily.

On-the-job injuries are, unfortunately, a reality for many workers. Though we don’t like to think about it, the possibility of getting hurt on the job is always present, so it’s important to be mindful about the tactics we take to ensure employee safety.

Violence Pattern In the Workplace

Accidents and assaults are among the leading cause of workplace deaths. Common accident-related workplace deaths include falls, electrocutions, and being caught in or between objects.

In 2020, assaults caused 20,050 injuries and illnesses, resulting in lost work time for victims and 392 deaths. Assault can take the form of a variety of violent acts, including but not limited to strangulation, stabbing, shooting, sexual assault, bombing, and arson.

COVID-19’s Emergence

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for employers and employees regarding workplace safety. One of the biggest challenges is that the virus can be spread through close contact, which is often unavoidable in the workplace. 

Employees who work close to each other, such as in an office setting, are at a higher risk of exposure. Similarly, employees who work in jobs that require close contact with the public, such as healthcare workers, are also at a higher risk.

Life-saving Incident Analysis

In 2020, with a global COVID-19 pandemic looming, disease prevention was a top priority. This unprecedented worldwide shutdown provided several opportunities for businesses to advance their safety standards. That’s why we’re writing this: to stress the significance of incident investigations to firms. Reviewing safety accidents is an important job that provides insights that can be used to then prevent future harm.

What’s the Point of Dealing With Incidents?

As a matter of law, businesses must provide their staff with a risk-free working environment. Furthermore, companies benefit from an increased focus on safety. Increasing the thoroughness of your incident investigations will make everyone feel safer and save lives.

Mortalities in the Workplace Are More Prevalent in Some Industries

Various factors contribute to the risk of death while on the job, and some occupations are more dangerous than others. The following are the ten deadliest jobs in the United States.

  1. Logging workers
  2. Fishers and related fishing workers
  3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
  4. Roofers
  5. Refuse and recyclable materials collectors
  6. Driver/sales workers
  7. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
  8. Construction workers
  9. First-line police and detectives’ bosses
  10. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

These occupations are considered the most dangerous based on the number of fatal work injuries in 2020. Logging workers had the highest fatal injury rate, with 128.8 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

There are more vocations on the list; however, remember that anyone might get injured on the job. It only takes one mistake or avoidable act to take someone’s life.

Maintaining a Safety Culture

To foster a safe culture within your company, you must ensure everyone on staff has the proper training. A companywide emphasis on safety is essential. You should initiate a full-scale investigation immediately after serious injuries occur and hold everyone accountable for keeping details. In the long run, it would be detrimental to the company if its actions gave the impression of being secretive.

You can avoid accidents if workers get the appropriate training and safety protocols and if incidents are investigated thoroughly, and the causes are found.

What an Incident Investigation Plan Contains

In most cases, businesses will use a checklist to gather information in the event of an incident. Filing the appropriate report will safeguard your company even if you label something as an incident.

Companies must be thorough in their documentation to create a safer workplace and prevent future incidents. Prompt your organization to take a wide stance, guaranteeing complete incident awareness. Furthermore, your company shouldn’t refrain from conducting investigations for fear of uncovering employee misconduct.

Your company’s good name is on the line when an employee is hurt while on the job. Strive for maximum openness in all aspects of the investigation.

Everyone must be invested in learning what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future through training and policy changes if we are to keep our safety culture strong. One thing your business should never do is stop investigating accidents that came close to being fatal. Because personnel will come and go and similar mistakes may be made in the future, it is important to keep these documents on file.

Key Components of an Incident Investigation Plan

While there are no universal guidelines for what to include in an incident investigation plan, many businesses across sectors follow these six guidelines.

Getting to Work Immediately

When security or EHS emergency occurs, the company’s staff should respond quickly. They are responsible for interviews with victims and other staff members who may have useful information. 

Preparing for Investigations

You should identify who needs questioning, where their location is across the organization, and any potential internal electronic information sources essential to a smooth process.

Collecting Data

Take a broad view to ensure your employer doesn’t overlook any information that could help them recreate the circumstance.

Also, gather first-hand accounts from as many eyewitnesses as you can.

Evaluating the Information

You can discover the root of the problem by carefully examining the available evidence. Don’t jump to the conclusion that human error is to blame for the incident; doing so could bias the results.

Adopting Corrective Measures

One or more departments may have problems, such as out-of-date operating procedures or an unsafe work environment. Investigating this further might help pinpoint at least one possible explanation.

Reporting Findings

If you’re confident that all safety concerns are resolved, this section will detail the company’s steps to fix the situation. Remember that this report can be presented in a meeting or training program or posted on the company website.

Getting Started

The safety and well-being of your employees are always your priority. But accidents do happen. Incident investigations help you determine what went wrong and prevent it from happening again.

In 2020, the National Safety Council estimated that the average cost of a worker’s death was $1,310,000. Even if your company has hazard insurance and worker’s compensation coverage for all employees, an occurrence could be so serious that the company’s financial future is jeopardized.

Don’t wait for a crisis to affect your employees and their families to take action. Improving safety practices and reports does not necessitate starting over. Maintain workplace safety and constantly conduct incident investigation reports.

Questions? Check out our FAQs or contact us.