Many times when an accident occurs that is just property damage, it is overlooked in the investigation process, because no injury occurs. That is actually a root cause of an injury accident, because if property damage was investigated thoroughly, it could identify issues that if events were different could have resulted in an injury.
When doing a property damage investigation, it should be treated equally to an injury accident, this includes conducting a root cause.
IF your employees aren’t trained on root cause analysis, the EHS Center offers a training presentation here. This training explains how to find the root cause of every incident, which can mitigate future incidents.
Other forms you want to include in a property damage investigation:
Check out all other accident investigation forms available on the EHS Center for a robust program.
A property damage investigation can be difficult, as not all property damage is reported, which means occasionally an investigation is conducted without a witness, without an involved party, and very few facts. In the event of this, an investigation should still be conducted, using the best information available.
A good defense against this type of investigation is a safety rule that if accidents are reported, it will result in no punishment. Many companies don’t wish to put that clause into employee rules, for fear they can not discipline employees for horseplay that results in property damage, but that isn’t true, as if horseplay is against the rules, you won’t be documenting them for the accident, but rather the horseplay. This encourages employees to come forward when an accident results in property damage that is a result of improper setup, or lack of training, therefore assisting in investigations to negate these accidents from occurring.
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