Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Accident/Incident Investigations


To determine the cause and to implement suitable corrective measures. It is fact finding and not fault finding!

What should be investigated?

All accidents and incidents should be investigated, although the primary focus should be on major or serious accidents or those situations which had the potential to be serious (near misses). Any accident or incident serves as a warning of a condition or practice which needs to be modified or corrected before it develops into a serious situation.

Who should do the investigation?

Managers and supervisors are responsible for conducting the accident investigation. This may include deans, directors, faculty, chairs, etc. The TRU Occupational Health and Safety Department is always available to assist with an investigation, but it should not be solely led by this department

How do I get started?

Get a copy of the Incident Report Form to complete using the following information as a guide:

  1. Description of the accident / incident:
    ~ how
    ~ when
    ~ where
    ~ who
    ~ include weights, heights, distances, time of day, weather conditions, etc.

  2. Cause of the accident / incident:
    ~ acts/omissions
    ~ conditions
    ~ administrative causes

  3. Recommendations
    ~ what will prevent further accidents
    ~ who will carry out the corrective measure
    ~ by what date

Examples of Accident / Incident Causes:
Unsafe Acts Unsafe Conditions Administrative
inactivating safety devices inadequate guards or protection inadequate hiring standards
failure to use guards properly defective tools/equipment inadequate job placement standards
using defective equipment poorly maintained equipment lack of procedures
servicing equipment in motion unsafe floors walkways, ramps etc. lack of training/job instruction
not using proper tools or equipment poor housekeeping lack of supervision
operating machinery at unsafe speeds hazardous gases, dusts, mists, fumes inadequate preventative maintenance program
not using PPE excessive noise unsafe or improper layout or design of facilities
operating equipment without authority inadequate ventilation inadequate purchasing standards
lack of skill or knowledge poor lighting inadequate environmental control program
influence of drugs and alcohol inadequate enforcement of work standards
unaware of hazards
unsafe act or omission of another person
unsafe loading
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