Scientific literature strongly emphasizes the need for investigating incidents. The e-Hazard Safety Cycle™ includes incident investigations as a key element. When harm or loss occurs, an incident is known as an “accident”. When harm or loss does not occur, but could have occurred under different circumstances, these types of incidents are known as near misses, sometimes called near hits. Much can be learned from near misses, and they provide the best context for learning, as no harm or loss was incurred by the organization. The “Incident Investigation” element must be integrated into both the “Electrical Safety Program” (ESP) element and the organization's safety management system.
1. In order to manage the incident investigations, an organizational policy is the first step. This document should identify the following:
2. Set milestones for the completion of the organizational policy. It would not be best to set end dates to the process, but rather to clearly define a starting date and establish milestones. As with the other elements, define one person who will be responsible for the organizational policies on incident investigations. Ensure that a diverse mix of skills is included in the process. A safety manager, engineer, and electrician may suffice for most organizations.
1. Engage in training on the organizational policy. At this stage, feedback from workers in the field and management may warrant changes to the draft policy.
2. Assign roles and responsibilitiesto the key role players defined in the policy.
3. Set a date and go live with the policy.
1. Identify ways to monitor the effectiveness of the investigation policy:
2. Audit completed investigations against the policy.