IC Safety from Protective Insurance Company
October 2014 An exclusive publication for Protective's independent contractors
Incident analysis 101
After an accident or an injury involving your worker, you may think “What do I do now?” You may be anxious but it’s critical to conduct an incident analysis immediately to protect your worker and your company. The goal is not to find fault. It’s to identify hazards, conditions or behaviors for which preventative action can be taken to avoid similar occurrences.
While it is not always possible to get to the scene of an accident or injury, it is strongly recommended the independent contractor make all reasonable attempts to do so. The scene of the accident or injury is the best place to gather information for later analysis.
The incident analysis should be conducted by someone with a solid understanding of what facts to gather, what to look for, how to determine root causes and what steps to take next. They should take these steps during the incident analysis:
1. Manage the incident scene
Did the injured receive the care they needed at the scene?
• Whenever possible, secure and preserve the area where the accident or injury occurred so you can obtain as much information as it was at the moment the incident happened.
Were any other hazards, such as electrical, fire or leaks, eliminated in a safe manner?
2. Gather facts
Identify the key people (workers and witnesses).
Observe control settings, such as traffic control devices, signage, etc., in the area of the scene.
Did the driver take pictures of the area from several angles as well as damage to any vehicles or equipment? Go back immediately and take pictures of the area that were not taken. Remember, skid marks disappear very quickly, so act fast.
3. Interview
Conduct interviews of workers, witnesses and anyone involved as soon as possible.
Put the person at ease and let them know you’re gathering facts, not looking to find fault.
Ask open-ended questions that only relate to the incident.
Make the interview private if possible. Don’t interrogate.
4. Determine the sequence of events
Develop a chronological timeline of what happened.
Start with the accident or injury and work backwards until you reach the beginning of the chain.
5. Determine root causes
Don’t stop at direct or surface causes; dig into the root causes.
• The 5 main categories of root causes are: environment, people, methods, materials and machines. Determine how many of these may have led to or affected the accident.
6. Develop prevention activities
Create and implement preventative measures (i.e. training, demonstrations, observations) not only for the affected worker, but for the entire work group. Include those identified as contributing to the loss as a root cause. They will need specific training as well.
Monitor for effectiveness. If they do not work, try something different.
7. Complete Injury or Accident Report
• The Injury or Accident Report will help you answer questions that may come up in the future. Download a copy of our free Injury or Accident Report.
• Reports can be utilized when developing a trend analysis to improve your training program.
There’s quite a bit that goes into an incident analysis. However, having a documented process in place will help reduce preventable accidents and injuries over time. By looking into every incident, determining root causes, and implementing preventative measures, you can significantly reduce similar incidents from occurring.
For assistance with these and other safety programs, contact our Loss Prevention Department at lossprevention@protectiveinsurance.com.
Free download: Injury or Accident Report
This form will help you document the details of an incident for future reference. Over time, these reports can help you identify trends and improve training. Download Injury or Accident Report >>


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