Six Key Investigation Questions – OHS

a.    Who

  • was injured?
  • saw the incident? (Injury)
  • was working with him/her?
  • had instructed, trained, assigned the affected person/
  • else was involved?
  • Can help prevent the re-occurrence?

b.    What

  • was the incident?
  • was the injury/illness?
  • was being done at time of injury or incident?
  • were they told to do so?
  • tools were being used?
  • machinery was involved?
  • operation was being performed?
  • instruction had been given?
  • precautions were given?
  • precautions were necessary?
  • PPE was used or should have been used?
  • did other do to contribute to the incident?
  • problems or questions was encountered?
  • did the employee and others do after the incident?
  • did witnesses see?
  • will be done to prevent re-occurrences.
  • safety rules or procedures were violated?
  • safety rules or procedures were lacking?
  • safety rules or procedures were needed?
  • additional training should be included?

c.    When

  • did the injury or incident occur?
  • did the employee begin the task?
  • was the employee assigned to the task?
  • were the hazard or risk pointed out to the employee?
  • did the supervisor last check on the employee’s progress?
  • did the employee last notice that something is wrong?
  • was appropriate training provided?
  • was a risk assessment done?

d.    Why

  • was the employee injured?
  • did the employee behave that way?
  • did other persons behave that way?
  • was PPE not used?
  • were specific instructions not given to the employee?
  • was the employee in that position/place?
  • was the employee using that machine or tool(s)?
  • did the employee not check with the supervisor?
  • did the employee continue working under the circumstance?
  • was the employee allowed to continue working?
  • wasn’t the supervisor there at the time?

e.    Where

  • did the injury or incident occur?
  • was the employee at the time of the incident?
  • was the supervisor at the time of the incident?
  • were co-workers at the time of the incident?
  • were other persons involved at the time?
  • were the witnesses when the incident occurred?
  • else does this or a similar condition exist?

f.     How

  • was the employee injured?
  • could the injury/illness have been avoided?
  • could co-workers avoid similar injury/illness?
  • could the supervisor have prevented the injury/illness?

Source; The South African Labour Guide

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