Investigation of Accidents and Incidents...

Investigation of Accidents and Incidents An accident is an undesired event and is normally defined as an unplanned event which interrupts the completion of an activity, and which may or may not include injury to the person, damage to the property and environment, or loss to the process. An incident is also an undesired event and it usually refers to an unexpected event that did not cause injury or damage this time but had the potential. Near miss or dangerous occurrence are also terms for an event that might have caused harm but had not. The term incident is used in some situations to cover both an accident as well as an incident. There are two theories for accidents/incidents. These as briefly described below. WH Heinrich’s Domino theory – As per this theory the occurrence of an injury invariably results from a completed sequence of factors, the last one of these being the accident itself. The accident in turn is invariably caused or permitted directly by the unsafe act of a person and/or a mechanical or physical hazard. Multiple cause theory – This theory states that behind every accident/incident there are many contributing factors, causes, and sub causes. These factors combine in a random fashion causing accidents. Hence the fundamental root causes are to be found and removed to prevent a recurrence. Majority of accident prevention efforts are based on knowledge gained from earlier accidents/incidents and,  hence it is important to learn as much as possible from each accident/incident. Learning from accidents/incidents can be achieved by investigating them in detail. However these investigations are to be based on fact-finding instead of fault-finding. An accident/incident investigation is a well planned analysis of an event that identifies the root cause and recommends corrective action to prevent...