As part of every incident investigation, the employee’s supervisor or manager should provide a statement. This is important for the validity of every claim.
When taking the statement, ensure to have the manager to include anything relevant from before the accident, a knowledge of near misses, past incidents with this employee, any behavior by the employee before the incident(example: they came into work limping then file a claim for hurting leg at work that day), and anything else relevant. Don’t allow the statement to be just a dead-end statement such as: “I didn’t see it and know nothing.” Have the manager include in their statement any training on relevant safety processes, procedures, or even just on operational processes. All of this can be factored into the investigation of the incident and considered in the root cause.
The management statement should attempt to answer the 5W1H’s with any relevant facts;
- Who? – Who was involved in the accident / incident?
- What? – What was being undertaken at the time?
- Where? – Where, precisely did the event take place?
- When? – When did it take place?
- Why? – Why did it happen?
- How? How can it be prevented from happening again?
This management statement is a small component of a comprehensive incident investigation program.
If you need more components of an incident investigation program, we have them here.
As to the role of the supervisor in an investigation, this statement will address all issues of in-depth employee and job process knowledge, while removing the supervisor from the direct investigation. This is an important consideration because:
- The immediate supervisor/manager of the injured may be part of the reason why the accident happened. The supervision may, therefore, be unwilling to identify deficiencies in training, supervision, discipline, etc., for which he or she is responsible.
- Due to lack of training, a supervisor may not have the necessary knowledge to do a good in-depth accident analysis.
- Even if training is provided, supervisors may not do investigations frequently enough to develop the necessary skills to do good investigations.
- Supervisors may not be sufficiently discreet with potentially sensitive information.
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