One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to investigate the causes of the accidents/incidents that do occur. A prompt, thorough investigation of any incident/accident, regardless of severity, including “near misses", is an important part of any good safety program. Investigations are a process of fact finding to identify the basic or “root” cause(s) of accidents and incidents as a way to eliminate hazards and prevent future occurrences. Safety investigations are fact‑finding and not fault‑finding. The focus is on finding out what happened, and how we can prevent another similar accident from happening. Investigations are essential to the continuous improvement of the safety performance of our organization. What is learned from the investigation helps identify and correct problems, contributing to a positive safety and healthy workplace. Investigations should be conducted involving the following circumstances:
- An incident which results in a "near miss" ‑ one which "almost'' or "could have" resulted in an injury‑producing or property damage accident.
- An incident/accident which results in damage to City property.
- A vehicle accident involving a City vehicle driven by an employee.
- An accident which results in an employee injury.