When an accident occurs in the workplace it is important to do everything possible to get the treatment you need right away. Even if you don’t believe the injury is to serious or life threatening, it is typically best to go to the doctor to get it checked out. Once you are certain that you are physically ok, you will need to write up an accident report. This report is submitted to the safety manager, HR, and potentially other groups.
OSHA encourages employers to investigate all instances where someone was hurt or incidents where the worker would been injured if circumstances had been slightly different. Although OSHA does not require employers to submit reports for each incident investigation, it can be helpful for choosing hazards controls and eliminating any future accidents.
- Create the Report ASAP: One of the most important things to do is write up the report as soon as possible after the incident occurs. This will help to ensure you remember the facts as clearly as possible. In addition, anyone else who was involved with the accident, and those who witnessed it, should also write their report right away.
- Document Evidence: While this is certainly not a criminal investigation, it can be helpful to treat it like one. Documenting evidence like malfunctioning machinery, objects in the wrong place, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident is very important. Take pictures of anything related to the incident. Writing down the names of witnesses, the details of the surrounding environment, and other details will help make it easier to recreate the event if necessary.
- Cooperate with Safety Professionals: Once you turn your accident report into your safety manager, they will almost certainly conduct a review on the incident. Some people are hesitant to work with them because they may fear that they are going to get in trouble. A good safety manager will want to work with everyone involved in the incident to discover the root cause so that actions can be taken to prevent further problems in the future.
- What does a safety professional do?
- What is a JHA?
- What is process safety management (PSM)?
- When and how often should I conduct workplace safety training?
- What is the difference between a job safety analysis (JSA) and a risk assessment?
- What are the steps to becoming a safety manager?
- How is workplace safety regulated and enforced?