The Work Health and Safety Experts often receive phone calls requesting information from current and prospective clients on the exact type of incident investigation method that can or should be used when an event arises.

Where Do I Find the Information?

The rule of thumb is that there is not one ‘go-to’ or ‘standard’ method of incident investigation. Commonwealth, State/ Territory and other statutory legislation does not outline the type of incident investigation method required for an investigation. The WHS Experts recommend:

  • Reviewing the engagement conditions or master service agreement as to whether the information is outlined within the contractual document;
  • Auditing if there is any governmental, NGO or third-party requirements or guidance for the industry where the incident occurred;
  • Verifying local legislation or government department requirements for what constitutes as a  mandatory ‘reportable event’ and the associated investigation measures required for incidents, injuries and illnesses;
  • Clarifying which, if any, matters may go to domestic or international commercial arbitration under the engagement contract;
  • Contacting insurers or reviewing insurance policy documents regarding any potential of special requirements of the insurance policy; and
  • Checking whether there is an ‘informal’ or ‘non-documented’ process or practice across that client or area of operations. 

Types of Incident Investigation methods utilised include:

  • 8Steps;
  • Bowtie;
  • COMET;
  • Essential Factors;
  • HAZID/HAZOP;
  • Five Why’s;
  • ICAM; and
  • Taproot.

The Work Health and Safety Experts can assist with incident investigations across a range of industries. Please contact us directly for further information.