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published on

September 2022

Master the accident investigation techniques with informative training classes

Industrial accidents happen, even with preparation and training. There’s always room for improvement, however. Every organization can bolster its safety processes and training, continually lowering the risk for future accidents and reducing workplace hazards.

But finding solutions you can use to improve the safety of your facility requires first knowing how to investigate accidents properly. Training courses from BakerRisk can provide you with the skills and techniques you need to review and resolve any safety concerns within your facilities.

What is the purpose of an accident investigation?

The purpose of an accident investigation is to:

  • Determine why a workplace accident occurred
  • Understand how the accident could have been prevented
  • Formulate strategies and techniques to reduce the risk of similar accidents occurring in the future

The accident investigation process

For an accident investigation to achieve its high-level goals, it must:

  • Carefully analyze the circumstances and material details of the accident, such as blast damage, structural changes, debris location, etc.
  • Secure the scene, collect evidence, and interview witnesses
  • Conclude how and why an accident occurred, as well as identify the root cause (root cause analysis)

Professional accident investigators, such as BakerRisk, perform many tests before filing an accident investigation report. Our trained and certified safety professionals, scientists, and professional engineers:

  • Preserve and manage incident scenes
  • Determine the root causes and/or origins of accidents and hazards
  • Document evidence at the scene and collect additional evidence as necessary
  • Provide testimony and legal support for clients
  • Perform scientifically based analyses of accident scenes and evidence

Thoroughly investigating an accident takes time and expertise. Trained professionals must carefully examine accident scenes before filing a report. This helps prevent incorrect conclusions and implementation of safety procedures that do not address the incident root cause.

evidence collection and scene documentation

Why do many accident investigations fall short?

Accident investigations sometimes fall short or provide inaccurate explanations to clients or business owners. This may occur for one of several different reasons.

An accident investigation team may improperly identify a sequence of events or identify the sequence of events leading to an accident in the wrong order. Alternatively, an investigation might reveal only obvious and/or direct causes rather than underlying or “root” causes.

Other investigations may proceed with a very narrow focus. An accident investigation team may assume that the incident was an isolated event rather than a consequence of many interconnected behaviors, practices, or worksite flaws. In other words, the investigation could erroneously conclude that the accident will not happen again or occur due to a single aspect when the reality is much more complicated.

Above all else, accident investigations can fall short due to a lack of training. Some accident investigators don’t know what to look for, how to investigate an incident scene, or how to analyze evidence appropriately. They may come to incorrect conclusions and inadvertently prevent an organization from taking steps to protect itself in the future.

Is a workplace event near miss or an accident?

Imagine an operator failing to properly check a critical piece of machinery before an operation. The operation proceeds smoothly thanks to failsafe mechanisms, but otherwise, it would have led to an accident. This event is what is often called a near miss.

Imagine the same scenario in which failsafe mechanisms are not in place. The operator doesn’t check the same vital piece of machinery, but a chemical release occurs at the worksite. This is an accident because the event led to real damage.

Accident investigations primarily occur after accidents, though they can be ordered and implemented to investigate near misses as well, typically to identify the root cause of the event.

BakerRisk accident investigation training

As fully certified and experienced incident investigation professionals, BakerRisk has taught worksite supervisors and managers critical safety and investigation skills for over 30 years. When you need to learn how to investigate an accident or how to develop and implement safety guidelines, BakerRisk can help.

Why rely on BakerRisk for safety incident investigation training?

BakerRisk’s instructors are fully experienced and, in some cases, are contributing authors on safety guideline books. For example, BakerRisk has developed guidance documents and standards for the Center for Chemical Process Safety.

Our instructors don’t just have experience in the industry – they also have experience teaching people like you. Over decades of training classes, we’ve serviced various clients across industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing and laboratories to chemical processing and more.

Our safety course instructors have spent years as investigators and safety professionals. When you sign up for one of our training classes, you’ll receive:

  • Education driven by extensive real-world expertise
  • Access to the same procedures and methodologies used to investigate accidents for our clients
  • Opportunities to assess your knowledge case study examinations

Upcoming safety training courses

You can take training courses to grow your accident investigation knowledge and arm your team with the knowledge you need to keep your facilities safe. Take classes like:

Accidents happen. But when they affect your facility, you need to know how to investigate them to develop strong safety guidelines and stop them from happening again. Contact BakerRisk for accident investigation training for yourself and your team today.