Investigation of Accident, Incident or Near Miss

Checklist for Investigations

Investigation of Accident, Incident or Near Miss

Companies should investigate safety events using a checklist, an example of a standard list is detailed below.


Note: In the table below, the term ‘event’ will be used to indicate ‘accident, incident or near miss’.



  • What level of job training had been provided?
  • How was competency assessed?
  • What did the risk assessment identify in regard to areas of special needs?
  • What other factors may have impacted on work performance?


  • Who was supervising the task?
  • What steps had the supervisor taken to ensure the task would be safely performed?
  • What instructions had the supervisor given to those involved?
  • What training had the supervisor received in giving out instructions to safely perform the task?


The safe work practice

  • When was a safe work practice written for this task?
  • What information does it include?
  • What information is missing from it?
  • What evidence is available that the person(s) involved had been trained in the procedure?
  • How was it being complied with?
  • What personal protective equipment was available?
  • How was it used?
  • How often is a risk assessment conducted on this task?


Plant, equipment and substances

  • What was the plant, equipment and other items or substances being used to produce?
  • How were they being operated?
  • How were plant and equipment failures dealt with?
  • What type of exposure(s) were involved? (e.g. chemical, thermal, radiation, biological etc.)?
  • When was the last time plant, equipment or other substances had a risk assessment?
  • What controls were identified in this assessment?
  • How often was equipment and plant maintained?


The workplace itself

  • What affect if any did the following have on the event?
  • Noise
  • Lighting
  • Vibration
  • Housekeeping
  • Workplace layout and design
  • Dust and fumes
  • Flooring


The results of the investigation will require a review and corrective actions by taking the following steps:

  1. Defining the scope of the activity that is to be assessed.
  2. Identifying the risks.
  3. Assessing the risks.
  4. Controlling the risks.
  5. Monitoring and reviewing the process.


  1. Eliminating the hazard.
  2. Substituting the hazard.
  3. Modifying the process.
  4. Isolating the hazard.
  5. Implementing engineering controls.
  6. Using a combination of controls.
  7. Using back up controls, such as personal protective equipment.

See our article on Reporting of Accidents HERE


Extracted from our 200 plus page Health and Safety Manual available at a huge discount HERE