An serious injury/fatality accident investigation report may consist of a factual section and a management evaluation section. The sections can be inserted into a three-ring binder with tabs identifying each.
The complete investigation report should be presented in draft form to the safety manager for review.
Factual data, such as maps, pictures, and weather data may be included as appendixes to the factual section if they are needed for clarity or understanding of the sequence of events. Other evidence, such as witness statements, autopsy photos, portions of policy, emergency logs, and equipment that are not appropriate or are too bulky to include in the factual section should be placed in the case file.
IMPORTANT: To the maximum extent possible, do not use names or other personally identifying information in the factual or management evaluation sections. Use of names or other personal information usually requires redaction to comply with Privacy Act regulations. To maintain the factual section of the investigation report as an accident prevention tool, use the positions of the individuals involved in the accident, such as dozer operator, crew boss 1, witness 3, instead of their names. This approach allows those interested to understand the roles of the participants and keeps the agency from being accused of covering up relevant data.
The purpose of the factual section for use as an accident prevention tool for management, employees, and other interested agencies. This information about the facts and the findings of the accident will help prevent similar types of accidents.
Appendixes can be used as reference information in the factual section.
Management Evaluation Section
The accident investigation case file has two components: the accident investigation report (factual section and management evaluation section), and the supporting documentation and equipment that are not in the investigation report. Cassette tapes, photos not used or unfit for distribution, witness statements, and documents that may be too large, should not be included in the investigation report. They should be kept in the case file and only referenced in the accident investigation report to support the team’s findings.
Any equipment that the investigator thinks should be kept, such as a hardhat that failed, becomes part of the case file.
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