Accident investigation refers to the analysis of an accident to determine its causes (Dodson, 2007). A thorough investigation should take place once an accident has occurred to determine the cause of the accident (Goetsch, 2010). The information collected during an investigation will be useful in preventing future accidents. Some of the experts, who participate in the process of accident investigation, include forensic scientists, safety and healthy advisers, and forensic engineers (Dodson, 2007). This discussion will consider the steps for conducting an accident investigation, terms that should guide an accident investigation, and significant things to remember while conducting an accident investigation.
The process of accident investigation takes place in a number of steps, which include immediate action, planning the investigation, gathering data, analyzing the data, developing and implementing corrective actions, and making a report (Dodson, 2007). Immediate action involves ensuring that the scene is safe, as well as informing the relevant parties for a successful investigation. Planning the investigation involves determining appropriate resources, number of investigators, and length of time for investigation. Gathering data involves interviewing the accident victims and witnesses, as well as taking measurements, sketching, and photographing (Goetsch, 2010). Data analysis involves determining the correct sequence of events, which will lead to the identification of the cause. Developing and implementing corrective actions will be necessary once the investigators identify the cause. Finally, the investigators should make a report regarding the cause and effective measures that will prevent and reduce reoccurrence of similar incidents.
Various terms, including when, what, who, when, where, why, and how, guide the process of accident investigation (Goetsch, 2010). Some of the significant things to remember when conducting an accident investigation include ensuring that the crime scene is under protection, collection of data takes place at the right time, and development and implementation of corrective actions takes place within the shortest time possible to avoid the recurrence of similar accidents (Dodson, 2007).
In conclusion, accident investigation is a significant process, whose main purpose is to determine the root causes of accidents. Determining the root causes will give way to the development and implementation of the corrective measures to avoid reoccurrence of similar incidents. Accident investigators should follow the investigation steps correctly to ensure that an accurate investigation takes place. Investigators find various terms like when, what, who, when, where, why, and how, as extremely significant in guiding the process of accident investigation (Goetsch, 2010).
- Dodson, D. W. (2007). Fire department incident safety officer (2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Thomson Delmar Learning.
- Goetsch, D. L. (2010). Construction safety and the OSHA standards. Boston: Prentice Hall.