The Role of Investigations in Reducing Workplace Accidents

When a workplace accident happens, getting medical attention for the injured employee, if necessary, is the priority. Afterward, it is important to investigate the accident as soon as possible. Your investigation should be a fact-finding mission, not a fault-finding mission. The goal is to uncover the root causes of the accident and take steps to prevent similar accidents.

And don’t forget to investigate near-misses. They can reveal gaps in your safety program or areas of your facility that need attention.

Successful accident investigations rely on everyone doing their part.


  • Teach supervisors how to investigate accidents.
  • Ensure all accidents and injuries are properly investigated.
  • Follow up to ensure immediate and long-term corrective actions are taken to prevent reoccurrence.
  • Maintain accident/incident reports, and keep them on file.
  • Ensure entries are properly recorded on the OSHA 300 Log and First Report of Injury.


  • Conduct immediate initial accident/incident investigations.
  • Immediately report all accidents to management.
  • Collect and preserve all evidence that may be useful in an investigation.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Do not attempt to find or assign blame for accidents.
  • Take action to protect people and property from reoccurrence or other ramifications.


  • Immediately report all accidents/incidents and injuries to the supervisor.
  • Help as requested in all accident/incident investigations.
  • Report all hazardous conditions and near-misses to the supervisor.

For more information on investigating accidents, visit

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