Accident investigation procedures need to be overhauled to reduce the number of people killed and injured at work.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said investigations had to identify the root cause of accidents, rather than finding someone to take the immediate blame.

As part of European Week for Safety and Health at Work, RoSPA has issued a ten-point check list:

  • Is everyone in the organisation committed to learning from safety failures?
  • Is every employee empowered to report accidents promptly?
  • Are there clear criteria to help decide on the scale of the investigation?
  • Are employees at all levels involved in a team-based investigation approach?
  • Are the investigation team members suitably trained for the task?
  • Do existing procedures allow for gathering the necessary data?
  • Are structured methods used to identify the circumstances of the accident?
  • Are the immediate and underlying causes of the accident investigated?
  • Are investigation results and recommendations for action communicated to all concerned and is implementation tracked?
  • Does the organisation regularly review investigation procedures?

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