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Incident Investigations (JHSC)

Incidents requiring an investigation

Employers are responsible for immediately conducting an investigation into any incident that involves:

Serious injury to a worker or a worker's death.
Injury requiring medical treatment.
Minor injury, or no injury, but had the potential for causing serious injury.
Major structural failure or collapse.
Major release of hazardous substances.
Diving incident, as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation.
Dangerous incident involving explosive materials.
Blasting incident causing personal injury.

Section 173 of the Workers Compensation Act provides more details about what incidents employers must investigate.

Investigation stages

Conducting an investigation into an incident that occurred in your workplace includes four stages. Those conducting the investigation must be knowledgeable about the type of work involved at the time of the incident. An employer and a worker representative must participate, if or as they are available.

The four stages of an investigation are:

1. Preliminary investigation

A preliminary investigation is an opportunity for employers to identify any unsafe conditions, acts, or procedures that must be addressed. This will lead to the point where work can resume safely at least until a full investigation has been completed. Employers must complete a preliminary investigation and accompanying report within 48 hours of an incident.

2. Interim corrective actions

During the period between the incident and the conclusion of the full investigation, an employer is responsible for taking all actions reasonably necessary to prevent the incident from happening again.

If you can identify only some of the unsafe conditions, acts, or procedures that significantly contributed to the incident? The employer will have to take interim corrective actions. This may include a full or partial shutdown of the worksite.

Other action may be removal of equipment, or reassignment of workers to other duties.

3. Full investigation

A full investigation is about determining an incident's cause or causes. This involves carefully analyzing the facts and circumstances. That will identify the underlying factors that led to the incident. Key questions to ask include:

  • What factors made the unsafe conditions, act, or procedures possible?
  • Are there any health and safety deficiencies in my management system or processes?

A full investigation and report must be completed within 30 days of the incident.

4. Final corrective actions

Once a full investigation has been completed, as an employer you must prepare a corrective action report. This will describe the unsafe conditions that led to the incident. Also what corrective action is necessary. But more important what steps you and your organization will take to implement those actions.

Incident investigations for Joint Health and Safety Committee will be a necessary and great course to offer to the committee members.

If you would like more information about scheduling this course for your company, please fill out our contact form.

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