Incident Investigation

Last updated: June 20, 2018

What Does Incident Investigation Mean?

An incident investigation, within the context of occupational health and safety, is an investigation into the cause of a hazardous or potentially hazardous incident that occurs at the work site. The investigation seeks to identify the cause of the occurrence and ways of preventing the same type of incident from occurring in the future. Incident investigations are required under OSHA regulations in order to improve safety on work sites and prevent repeats of incidents.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Incident Investigation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) divides the investigative process into four steps. These are preserving the scene, documenting the scene, collecting information to determine the root cause, and enforcing corrective actions.

An incident investigation engages a supervisory body at the work site. In addition, to make the findings more precise, other involved parties such as managers and employees may also be consulted. Collective input can help answer questions regarding the actual incident, its cause, and identify any unsafe conditions. OSHA standards require all areas of what, how, and why to be answered by the investigative process.

Benefits of an incident investigation include preventing future hazards by educating all involved parties and meeting safety protocols at the work site.


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