ISO 9001 Quality Management 
ISO 45001 H&S Management 
Unit 1B Marsh's Street Thomastown Co. Kilkenny Ireland

ACCIDENT & INCIDENT REPORTING FORM

Leave this field blank
An injury includes anything that required first aid. Cuts, Bruising fractures etc
Did they leave site because of injury. Did they not arrive to work the next day because of the injury. If either answer yes
Include the day of injury if they leave site or cannot return to full duties. Also include the weekend

The causes of adverse events

Adverse events have many causes. What may appear to be bad luck (being in the wrong place at the wrong time) can, on analysis, be seen as a chain of failures and errors that lead almost inevitably to the adverse event. (This is often known as the Domino effect.) These causes can be classified as: n immediate causes: the agent of injury or ill health (the blade, the substance, the dust etc); n underlying causes: unsafe acts and unsafe conditions (the guard removed, the ventilation switched off etc); n root causes: the failure from which all other failings grow, often remote in time and space from the adverse event (eg failure to identify training needs and assess competence, low priority given to risk assessment etc). To prevent adverse events, you need to provide effective risk control measures which address the immediate, underlying and root causes.

Photo of Causes of accidents

Why Investigate?

To ensure you are operating your organisation within the law. n The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 5, requires employers to plan, organise, control, monitor and review their health and safety arrangements. Health and safety investigations form an essential part of this process. n Following the Woolf Report6 on civil action, you are expected to make full disclosure of the circumstances of an accident to the injured parties considering legal action. The fear of litigation may make you think it is better not to investigate, but you can’t make things better if you don’t know what went wrong! The fact that you thoroughly investigated an accident and took remedial action to prevent further accidents would demonstrate to a court that your company has a positive attitude to health and safety. Your investigation findings will also provide essential information for your insurers in the event of a claim.

Legal reasons for investigating

To ensure you are operating your organisation within the law. 


The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 5, requires employers to plan, organise, control, monitor and review their health and safety arrangements. Health and safety investigations form an essential part of this process. 


Following the Woolf Report6 on civil action, you are expected to make full disclosure of the circumstances of an accident to the injured parties considering legal action. The fear of litigation may make you think it is better not to investigate, but you can’t make things better if you don’t know what went wrong! The fact that you thoroughly investigated an accident and took remedial action to prevent further accidents would demonstrate to a court that your company has a positive attitude to health and safety. Your investigation findings will also provide essential information for your insurers in the event of a claim.

Information and insight gained from an investigating

The prevention of further similar adverse events. If there is a serious accident, the regulatory authorities will take a firm line if you have ignored previous warnings. n The prevention of business losses due to disruption, stoppage, lost orders and the costs of criminal and civil legal actions. n An improvement in employee morale and attitude towards health and safety. Employees will be more cooperative in implementing new safety precautions if they were involved in the decision and they can see that problems are dealt with. Investigating accidents and incidents Page 8 of 88 Health and Safety Executive n The development of manag

Benefits arising from an investigation

The prevention of further similar adverse events. If there is a serious accident, the regulatory authorities will take a firm line if you have ignored previous warnings. The prevention of business losses due to disruption, stoppage, lost orders and the costs of criminal and civil legal actions.

An improvement in employee morale and attitude towards health and safety. Employees will be more cooperative in implementing new safety precautions if they were involved in the decision and they can see that problems are dealt with. 

The development of managerial skills which can be readily applied to other areas of the organisation.

While the argument for investigating accidents is fairly clear, the need to investigate near misses and undesired circumstances may not be so obvious. However, investigating near misses and undesired circumstances is as useful, and very much easier than investigating accidents. 


Adverse events where no one has been harmed can be investigated without having to deal with injured people, their families and a demoralised workforce, and without the threat of criminal and civil action hanging over the whole proceedings. Witnesses will be more likely to be helpful and tell the truth. (Consider the following: ‘I mistakenly turned the wrong valve which released the boiling water because the valves all look the same’ or ‘I don’t know how John was scalded.’ Which is the likely response to a near miss and which to an accident? More importantly, which is the most useful?) 


It is often pure luck that determines whether an undesired circumstance translates into a near miss or accident. The value of investigating each adverse event is the same. 


An investigation is not an end in itself, but the first step in preventing future adverse events. A good investigation will enable you to learn general lessons, which can be applied across your organisation. 


The investigation should identify why the existing risk control measures failed and what improvements or additional measures are needed. More general lessons on why the risk control measures were inadequate must also be learned.