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Incident investigations are a necessary component of any organization’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) program. An effective incident investigation will not only identify, document, and analyze an event, but will also push past assumptions to identify the root causes that can help avoid future incidents while reducing downtime and costs.
Incident investigation plays out better when teams are guided by proven processes rather than their own fallible personal systems of belief. However, while the field of incident investigations has evolved continuously, it is not uncommon to find outdated beliefs that don't take into account the massive amount of research devoted to this subject.
We wrote this eBook in hopes of sharing some of the most common features, but also identifying a sample of the most popular methods. EHS professionals have never had more options when searching for a methodology for investigating incidents. A short introduction to some of these methodologies is included, as well as some concepts that are useful when selecting one.
Today it is becoming very common to see investigators using software to complete their investigations. While not necessary to the process, software makes the investigator’s job a little easier. Some vendors might claim their software will result in better investigations, but the investigator and his skills, methods, and experience are the keys to success. Software is only one of the tools that can be used to improve efficiency and are most useful in helping to organize the investigator’s data and analysis.
This manual should answer many of the questions an investigator might have when evaluating methodologies and tools and should be interesting to those interested in root cause analysis, investigations, and the EHS industry in general.