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How To Properly Investigate Accidents In The Workplace

Workers Comp Injury in Brooklyn, NY warehouse

When accidents happen at your workplace, it’s crucial to do a proper investigation to know the root cause of the events. The primary point of doing a proper and thorough investigation is to determine who’s negligent and to uncover the factors that caused the accident. This is so the employers can take corrective actions to avoid it from happening again.

Below are some of the ways to properly investigate accidents in the workplace:

  • Get Medical Treatment If Necessary

When an accident occurs at a workplace, one of the first things you should do is to know who the injured employees are and evaluate the injury’s severity. If the injuries are serious, immediate medical attention is crucial.

If medical attention is needed immediately, the injured employees should be brought to the nearest urgent care facility or hospital. It’s also a good idea to call an emergency hotline to request medical assistance to the accident scene.

Keep in mind that the state workers’ compensation laws have varying requirements about the use of panel physicians for non-emergency treatments. Employers have to check if their state requires their employees to choose an approved physician or allow employees the right to select a medical care professional or facility to get treatment.

To get a better understanding of workers’ compensation laws, it’s best to contact a law firm or a business lawyer Miami for legal help.

  • Secure The Scene

One of the ways to do a proper investigation of workplace accidents is to secure the scene. Clear some employees from the scene and make sure to rope it off immediately. If possible, get rid of the sources of possible danger like putting out a fire or turning off a machine.

To ensure an accurate investigation, you should keep the scene intact. If the employee is critically injured or killed on the job, make sure to file a report as soon as possible.

  • Interview Witnesses And The Injured Employees

Once the medical needs of the injured employees have been addressed, the next thing to do is to interview the employees and gather more information on why, how, and when the injuries occurred to prove the workers’ compensation claims.

The injured employees must complete an accident report to provide an overview of what caused the accident. The employer must interview the witnesses who saw the accident. Every witness must provide a statement. The company may also want the supervisors to complete the accident report detailing what they have witnessed and how they think the accident happened.

  • Observe The Accident Scene And Know The Facts

Another thing to do is observe the accident scene and take photos of the area, including the equipment, objects, and wet floors that may have contributed to the accident.

Action plans must be implemented immediately to correct any problems that can be resolved, to ensure the area is safe for the customers and employees, like tagging out the faulty equipment. Other questions that HR (Human Resources) professionals may look to answer while checking the scene can include facts surrounding the occurrence and precautions that must be done to avoid the problem in the future.

  • Determine The Root Cause

One of the main goals of proper workplace accident investigation is to look for the real cause of the accident. If everybody’s aware of the cause of the accident, it can be prevented from happening again in the future. Take note that accidents may have different causes. For example, employees weren’t trained properly and were working with dangerous substances.

The root causes should be particular underlying causes, under the management’s control, reasonably identified, and more. 

To do a root cause analysis, consider employing teams to do data collection and make a chart of the causal factors. This is done by determining the accident’s details. The causal factor charts are a sequence diagram that describes the events resulting in the accident. Moreover, it may include the conditions surrounding the events, enabling the investigators to know the real cause.

  • File The Investigation Report

During the workplace accident investigation, you’ve gathered evidence and analyzed the information you got from the involved parties. The next thing to do is to communicate with the management regarding what you’ve collected.

If the thought of making final reports fills you with dread, you might want to consider using a case management tool with a one-click reporting feature. It helps you gather data from the case file of the accident and compile everything into pre-formatted templates and create a professional and easily shareable report.

  • File The Workers’ Compensation Claim

Companies must contact their insurance providers and file an injury report related to work. All details required by the insurance agency must be provided. Employers must also provide some statements and other supporting documents, including the doctor’s notes, medical and therapy statements, as well as return-to-work certificates.

If you don’t know how to file for a workers’ compensation claim, you might want to contact your legal experts to help you with the process.

  • Identify Corrective Action

To avoid accidents from happening again and to improve the company’s overall operations, it’s critical to determine corrective actions. If the injured employees violated a minor or major safety rule, the employers would have to follow the workplace rule violation policy and take the necessary corrective action.

Taking immediate corrective action can ensure workplace safety and help eliminate or reduce any work-related injury. If the company has a safety committee, the members must review the investigations of the accidents to help create recommendations for proper corrective action to avoid future recurrences. With a thorough investigation, it’ll help employers determine the causes of the accidents and reveal the accident trends.

  • Follow Up

You have to keep in mind that even the strongest correction action plans can’t prevent all workplace accidents, especially if they’re not enforced properly. So, make sure to follow up with the different recommendations after several weeks or months to ensure they’re actually implemented. If the changes don’t make a difference, request to revise the corrective action plan to get better results and keep the workplace safer.


By following the tips mentioned above, you won’t only find out the real cause of the workplace accident but also give the employer the chance to improve workplace safety. You can also be assured that injured employees will get the compensation or justice they deserve.