Outcome Based Incident Response

Is your incident reaction based on outcome or behavior? Most companies react based on outcome. Take a moment and think of your company safety program in action. Do you treat a near miss, a first aid and a recordable the same? Is the investigation the same? Disciplinary action the same? Priority of communication the same? Probably not.

They should be closer to the same than they actually are. We talk a lot about investigating near misses and using the results to make changes. This is good. A first aid gets a little more attention, but when you have a recordable incident, suddenly the world is coming to an end. “I need the investigation report now!” “I want a root cause analysis now!” “It’s been 2 hours since the incident, what’s taking so long!”

If you don’t have a person trained in first aid and injury management then your 1st aid and recordable can be identical injuries just managed poorly. So, why the panic between the two? Stress begets stress and speed causes errors. We all want a good report so conduct a good investigation regardless of the outcome. When external stress is created and a demand for speed is applied then your investigation is going to be affected.

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