When a safety incident occurs in your workplace, the OHS laws in your jurisdiction may require you to investigate it. And even if they don’t, you should investigate it anyway to determine the root causes so you can update or implement appropriate safety measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. To conduct an effective incident investigation, you’ll need certain tools on hand. Preparing a kit of those tools in advance and having the kit readily available in the workplace will prevent any delays in your investigation.
WorkSafeBC’s Reference Guide for Employer Incident Investigations has advice for employers on how to effectively prepare to investigate an incident in the workplace. The Guide recommends that you have a ready-to-use investigation kit prepared and available in advance. The kit should contain the following items:
- A digital camera with flash (and extra batteries);
- A tape measure and ruler;
- A clipboard and pad of paper;
- Pens, pencils and erasers;
- An incident investigation form and incident checklist;
- A flashlight (and extra batteries);
- Plastic bags and containers for samples;
- Labels and markers for identifying equipment and labeling samples;
- “Do not enter” tape; and
- Disposable gloves and other PPE, such as face masks.
Insider Says: For more on incident investigations, see “Investigating Workplace Incidents: 9 Traps to Avoid.”