Last week, we were discussing the steps following an incident or accident in the workplace. Management have been notified, and the incident has been recorded and reported. We will now look at actually conducting and investigation into the cause of the incident.
Having established that an incident investigation is desirable, it must then be determined who is to conduct the investigation. Incident investigations fall into two main categories: internal and external. A workplace has no control over external investigations, unless it is one they have commissioned on their own behalf.
An investigator is a facilitator – a person trained to seek out, record, and report on the circumstances and causal factors, draw conclusions, and make recommendations to reduce the risk of recurrence of the circumstances.
If an incident happens at work, regardless of whether a person is injured or not, there is a strong chance that the PCBU’s duty of care to provide a safe workplace, free of hazards, has broken down. For this reason alone, regardless of any other, the PCBU should investigate the incident and control the associated risk that ultimately caused the incident.
You will learn more about incident investigations while undertaking a Certificate IV in OHS and the unit –Participate in the Investigation of Incidents.