Workplace Accident Investigation Checklist

by George Lawrence J.D.; Updated September 26, 2017

Workplace safety rules, such as those regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, help reduce workplace accidents and injuries. Despite compliance with these regulations, employees can still get injured on the job. To prevent injuries and to avoid potential legal problems, employers should develop a checklist to investigate all workplace accidents.

Notify Supervisors or Management

The checklist should contain clear instructions about who to notify in case of an accident. If specific forms or paperwork must be filled out, the name of each form and a box indicating whether or not it was filed should be included. Additionally, the notification section of the checklist should indicate who is authorized to notify the authorities and who is authorized to initiate a formal investigation. According to Colorado State University, if the accident is serious, the scene should be secured so evidence is not tampered with or lost.

Gather Information

The bulk of the investigation involves gathering information. The checklist should contain space for the basic facts of the accident, including who was involved, what happened, when it happened, who witnessed it and the severity of the incident. Additionally, the checklist should indicate whether supplemental evidence exists, such as a videotape of the accident from a security camera.

Step-by-Step Description and Analysis

Based on the information gathered, the investigators should be able to create a detailed, step-by-step description of the accident. The checklist should include plenty of space to provide a chronological description of the incident, with instructions to attach additional pages as necessary. From the step-by-step description and the relevant information, the accident investors should provide an analysis of the cause and nature of the accident.

Develop a Response

To complete the investigation, the report should contain a space for suggestions about how to prevent future incidents. The plan should contain provisions that require the management or accident investigation team to review the response plan for its effectiveness.

About the Author

Based in Traverse City, Mich., George Lawrence has been writing professionally since 2009. His work primarily appears on various websites. An avid outdoorsman, Lawrence holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both criminal justice and English from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he graduated with honors.