Creating a Post-Incident Policy
Most businesses and organizations do their best to prevent work-related accidents. But even the most safety-conscious of workplaces is not completely immune to on the job incidents. When these incidents occur, proper follow up is key to helping prevent a similar incident in the future. For this reason, your organization must have a well-developed post-incident policy.
Generally speaking, a post-incident policy should have five main components: reporting the incident, investigating the incident, incident analysis, corrective actions, and communication.
1. Reporting the incident.
When there is a workplace incident, it needs to be reported. But by who and to whom? Having a post-incident policy should clarify this so that there is no question as to who should be making the report when there is any incident that results in injury, illness, a health hazard, or death.
2. Investigating the incident.
The next step is to investigate the incident. The goal of the investigation should be to determine the factors and circumstances that led to the incident. This investigation should be conducted by an expert (either from within the company or a third party) who can analyze complex situations.
Factors that should be analyzed include but are not limited to:
- Technology that was being used.
- Workplace layout.
- Materials being used.
- Safety and personal protective equipment.
- Environmental factors.
- Quality control.
- Training and level of education.
- Level of supervision.
- Decision-making process.
During the investigation stage, the investigator should be focussed on prevention rather than assigning blame. There should also be a high level of trust that confidentiality will be maintained.
3. Incident analysis.
The next step is for the investigator to analyze all the facts and determine which factors contributed to the incident. The analysis should be written up in a report that lists the relevant facts and makes it possible for different readers to arrive at similar conclusions as to why the incident occurred.
4. Corrective actions.
Once the analysis is complete and it is clear what factors led up to the incident, it is time for the management team to identify ways in which a similar incident might be prevented. A meeting should be called which not only includes management, but it should also include safety professionals and perhaps technical staff and members of the organization’s health and safety committee.
This meeting should achieve the following outcomes:
- Identify areas in which corrective action is needed.
- Determine the likely effectiveness of the actions to be taken.
- Set priorities and schedules for corrective action to take place.
Finally, a major part of your post-incident policy should be to communicate the results of the investigation and analyze to inform staff of what corrective actions are being taken. This will not only show your staff that management is actively involved in company safety, but it may also help them to identify other areas where an incident might occur.
Having a post-incident policy is essential for any organization to help prevent the reoccurrence of additional incidents, help prevent costly absenteeism and avoid production delays. If you require help in developing your post-incident policy, CONTACT TeksMed today.