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Meeting the Challenges of Effective Occurrence Investigations

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

Occurrences (accidents and incidents), whether they take place in the transportation industry, health care settings or in highly industrialized plants, occur regularly and all too frequently, sometimes with fatal and disastrous results. Occurrences place a great burden on organizations, their workers, and at times the general public. They are very costly both in personal and financial terms, as are the investigations into the causes of these occurrences in terms of time and money.

Not performing a comprehensive and effective investigation however, results in an often unrecognized cost which can be termed the “opportunity cost” – the failure to develop a full understanding of the contributing factors of the occurrence, thereby learning from it. In terms of ensuring a safe work environment, this may be the most significant cost to the organization. This “opportunity” cost is often expressed in the all too common response to occurrences – finding someone (the human) to name, blame, shame and train (or otherwise sanction). This approach may seem to be satisfying in the short term, however it rarely leads to significant improvement in safety or the prevention of further damages and cost in the future.

Drawing on hard experience gained by conducting systematic safety investigations in a variety of industrial settings, the webinar will address the challenges organizations face when confronted by the need to conduct a safety investigation. Specific topics will include:

• The impact of corporate safety culture on effective safety investigations
• The contribution of human and organizational factors to occurrence causation, and how
to investigate for them
• How to ensure your organization has an effective investigation “system” in place
• Why investigate, the types of Investigations and how to decide when to investigate
• The role of the “part-time” investigator
• The human factors of occurrence investigation – Dealing with investigator bias
• Developing effective safety recommendations


The web event will be of interest to all those interested in developing an effective investigation system, and in developing skills in effectively investigating the causes of accidents, incidents and unsafe conditions in their environment – for example Managers, OHS Committee members, Ergonomists, Accident/Incident Investigators, OHS and Risk Managers, and Injury Prevention Coordinators.

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 1 chapter

Course Chapters

  • 1Meeting the Challenges of Effective Occurrence Investigations - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Maury Hill, MSc. Erg