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Home > Employers > Injury Prevention > Accident Analysis

Accident Analysis

Accidents don't just happen. They're caused by a series of unsafe behaviors, steps or events.

Digging into the circumstances of an accident will help you prevent future accidents in your workplace. This will help your organization avoid unnecessary financial costs and help your employees avoid hardship.

Setting up a program

The best way to get your organization started with accident analysis is to have a program in place so you're ready to act when an accident happens. Follow these steps to help you set up your program:

  1. Determine who will do the analysis
  2. Create a written accident analysis plan so you know how to respond when an accident occurs
  3. Educate your supervisors about accident analysis
  4. Communicate your accident analysis and accident reporting policies

Analyzing accidents after they occur

Start with SFM's accident analysis worksheet for ideas on what to look for. Then follow these four steps:

  1. Collect data
  • Gather facts about what happened
  • Talk to witnesses
  • Examine materials, tools and equipment
  • Review maintenance and training records
  2. Identify the causes
Look for possible causes:
  • Equipment
  • Methods
  • Personnel
  • Behaviors
  • Environment
  3. Analyze the findings
Examine the facts and observations, and be aware of what's missing. Distinguish between immediate and underlying causes.
  4. Develop a plan for corrective action
The plan should match the results from your analysis. Make recommendations for each of the possible causes identified.

View full detail on accident analysis (PDF) Arrow

If the accident is serious or you need help investigating an accident, call your SFM claims representative or loss prevention representative at (952) 838-4200 or (800) 937-1181.

Related SFM resources

These resources, plus more on other topics, are available in SFM's Resource Catalog.


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