The importance of accident prevention does not end with the accident investigation process. An accident analysis program is equally important in establishing trends and curbing future accidents. When accident investigation and accident analysis programs are rigorously applied together, identifying problem areas and decreasing risk become easier and more effective.
A thorough analysis should provide meaningful direction. At a glance, it should indicate not only where problems are, but also reflect if past safety efforts have been effective. For example, if an analysis reveals a back injury trend, a review of accident reports is completed to identify common factors. The review may reveal injuries are related to falls at one particular location or operation, prompting an evaluation of walking surfaces in that area.
On the other hand, the analysis may indicate that the injuries are due to material handling and an ergonomic evaluation is required.
An accident analysis is typically grouped in one or more of the following areas:
• Nature of injury
• Part of body
• Type of accident
Other groupings may include:
• Department or shift
• Day of week and time of day
• Name of injured
Analysis data includes:
• Dollar loss
• Percentage of total frequency and total dollar loss
This sample analysis indicates that there may be a frequency problem with “foreign body in eye” incidents and a severity problem due to slips and falls. As a result, a review of accident investigation reports to identify common causal factors and a review of controls over these accident types is warranted.
Other analyses by time on the job or location may be helpful in identifying weaknesses in new employee training or safety orientation. Location trends may prompt a review of supervisory controls, a particular process or machinery involvement. An analysis by employee names would identify accident repeaters.
If you are not presently analyzing accidents, you should start. No matter what format is utilized, it is essential that an analysis provide direction to management, a safety committee, or those responsible for safety. Problem trends identified by an analysis can pinpoint safety needs, which may include: establishment or revision of policies/procedures, additional safety training, improved hazard identification, change in an operation, or enhancement of safety rules.
A properly planned, implemented, and controlled accident investigation program coupled with an accident analysis program can effectively reduce accident frequency and costs.
WCF Insurance Safety Department
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.