Remedial Action After Accident Investigation
Once an accident investigation has taken place, it is important that the information learned is used to make changes to health and safety policy or procedures in order to prevent a similar sort of accident from occurring again in the future, which may be more serious than this one. After all the primary purpose of investigating the accident is to establish the causes and to take appropriate action, as by this time it is already too late to do anything to prevent this particular incident!
The findings are likely to include both short-term and long-term suggestions for improvement, depending on what sort of incident has taken place. The short-term improvements will include such things as fixing safety guards on machinery, introducing new warning signs etc. Longer term, the entire attitude of workers with regards to safety may need to be changed if it has become the norm to take shortcuts or not bother with using protective equipment. It may be the case that pressure from managers to achieve targets has contributed to this culture. Having workers attend health and safety courses can remind them of the dangers that exist in the workplace that they may have forgotten or started to take for granted, along with making them more aware of their safety responsibilities, both to themselves and those around them.
It is important that any changes that are introduced as a result of the accident investigation findings are closely monitored and evaluated soon after being introduced to check their effectiveness. These changes may also have created new health and safety issues and potential risks which will need to be addressed. For example, altering the layout of the workspace to incorporate new safety features may now obstruct fire escape routes. Workers will also need to be trained in how to safely operate any new machinery, or perform tasks such as being a fire marshall if they have now been given that responsibility.