How are the facts collected during Workplace Incident Investigation?

At this stage of the investigation most of the facts about what happened and how it happened should be known. This data gathering has taken considerable effort to accomplish but it represents only the first half of the objective. Now comes the key question – why did it happen?

Keep an open mind to all possibilities and look for all pertinent facts. There may still be gaps in your understanding of the sequence of events that resulted in the incident. You may need to re-interview some witnesses or look for other data to fill these gaps in your knowledge.

When your analysis is complete, write down a step-by-step account of what happened (the team’s conclusions) working back from the moment of the incident, listing all possible causes at each step. This is not extra work: it is a draft for part of the final report. Each conclusion should be checked to see if:

– it is supported by evidence
– the evidence is direct (physical or documentary) or based on eyewitness accounts, or
– the evidence is based on assumption.

This list serves as a final check on discrepancies that should be explained.

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