As a responsible employer, you need to react quickly to workplace incidents with a prescribed investigation procedure for finding root causes and implementing corrective actions. Taking quick and planned actions can demonstrate your company’s commitment to the safety and health of your employees, and your willingness to improve your safety and health management programs to prevent future incidents.
Employers should investigate all workplace incidents—both those that cause harm and the close calls that could have caused harm under slightly different circumstances. The process helps employers look beyond what happened to discover why it happened. Investigations also save employers money, as incidents are far more costly than most people realize. The National Safety Council estimates that, on average, preventing a workplace injury can save employers $39,000, and preventing a fatality can save more than $1.4 million. Employers can also save on the less obvious, but often more expensive indirect costs, such as lost production, increased administrative time, lower morale, personnel training and damaged reputation.