The Importance of an Accident Investigation

30 Jun

I was reminded this week of the importance of a prompt and through investigation of every work injury. In this instance, a landscaping worker was using a “weed whacker” when he stepped on a spot covered by a board, which gave way, and he fell knee deep into a metal lined hole.  His knee was severely injured. I received the “Supervisor’s Report of Injury”, a witness’s statement, and even a photo of the hole.  (We have been working to improve accident reporting to always include photos for this client – so we can use the photos for both the investigation and for safety training.)

It was only when I went to the accident scene myself, the next day, that I understood more about the hazards of this job. First, in talking with the supervisor, I learned that the employee involved was walking backward using the “weed whacker” at the time of injury. (Your mother always told you to watch where you are walking).  But also there are numerous other slight holes in this area or “ruts” from rain, raised stumps from trees which have been cut down, etc. There are lots of ways a slip or fall could occur.

Only by actually seeing the location did I fully understand some of the actions that need to be considered to prevent this type of injury at this location.

Wishing you a safe summer

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