ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION FOR SUPERVISORS. Kelley Ireland Worker’s Compensation Program Manager Tucson, AZ 520-792-1450 ext 6082 Kelley.firstname.lastname@example.org. Purpose. Broaden and develop knowledge of proper accident investigation
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520-792-1450 ext 6082
How accident investigations relate to WC case management
Preserve critical information at accident scene
Reduce operational costs
Compare accident reports to CA forms
Save VA money
On July 19, 2010, President Obama established a 4-year “Protecting Our Workers and Ensuring Reemployment” (POWER) Initiative
The scope of POWER is to extend prior workplace safety and health efforts of the Federal Government by setting more aggressive performance targets
Each Federal agency is to improve performance in seven areas
(Less claims = safer employees and workplaces)
2. Reduce lost time injury and illness case rates
(Lost time injuries and illnesses are the most severe so we want to reduce them)
3. Analyze lost time injury and illness data
(Identify trends - what injuries are happening where, why and by whom to enlist improvements)What are the initiatives and what do they really mean?
4. Increase timely filing of workers’ comp claims(Claims processed immediately aid injured worker in getting benefits and in healing)5. Increase timely filing of wage loss claims(Injured employee gets paid on time – no loss of income)6. Reduce lost production day rates(Less injury time more production to unit)
7. Speed employee’s return to work in cases of serious injury or illness(Reduces financial and emotional impact of injury when employee is back at work. Employee is “back in the saddle again”)
The National Safety Council defines an accident as:
“An undesired event that results in personal injury or property damage.”
Near miss describes events where no property was damaged and no personal injury sustained, but given a slight shift in time or position, damage and/or injury could easily have occurred.
1960.29(d) The investigative report of the accident shall include appropriate documentation on date, time, location, description of operations, description of accident, photographs, interviews of employees and witnesses, measurements, and other pertinent information. A copy of the investigative report required by this section shall be forwarded to the official in charge of the workplace, the appropriate safety and health committee, and the exclusive employee representative, if any.
Immediately after all incidents, whether near miss or actual injury/damage event
Who should do it?
The supervisor in charge of the activity or operation and for severe or serious injury, the facility Safety Professional
The Safety Officer is responsible for obtaining an investigative report for every accident which must be retained for a minimum of 5 years and is subject to review and inspection by the Department of Labor.
In the event more expertise is required or after a serious event, of course!
Start with the 6 key questions
Get to the scene as quickly as possible
Preserve critical information
Get witness statements immediately
Though they witnessed the same event, stories vary because of perceptions
Stories change when people talk
People forget very quickly
The Ebbinghaus Curve How quickly we forgetIn 1885, Herman Ebbinghaus did an experiment where subjects memorized a list of meaningless three letter words and tracked how quickly his subjects forgot the words Learners rapidly forget information In the case of meaningless information, only 20 minutes afterward, they only remember 58% of the information
…”You weren’t wearing your seat belt, were you?”
Don’t assign blame
Get witness statements immediately
Just the facts ma’am, just the facts
Opinions, gossip and hearsay don’t matter
Look for causal factors
(there are usually several factors that lead to the accident – not just one thing!)
Write in a narrative style
Remember the 6 key questions!
Worker slipped and hurt his knee when he fell to the floor
On Thursday, May 24, Nurse’s Aid Adam Briscoe, slipped and fell on water tracked into the building from a rain storm at the hospital’s north entrance. Adam struck his right knee against the floor. He was not wearing shoes with slip resistant soles. He was texting as he walked into the hospital to report for work and didn’t notice the water. He was treated by his physician who diagnosed a right knee strain/contusion. No weather matting or signs were in place near the door. Maintenance had been called earlier to mop and put signs up, but had not yet responded.
Every workplace accident or injury has both Direct and indirect costs. The direct costs, we recognize right away.
Can you name some direct costs?
Housekeeping Aid filed CA-2 for groin pain he sustained when stacking chairs.
Date of injury: on or about 6-1-2011
Date employee filed claim: 6-30-2011
Employee took 3 weeks off between date of injury and date claim was filed, using all his accrued leave. He helped his family move household goods & belongings onto a large truck during a wildfire and moved his family to another city. The employee notified his supervisor of this before he took A/L but never mentioned an injury until after he returned to work, saying he hurt himself on June 1 and it “worsened over the month.” The employee requested COP for his time off. The supervisor was never aware that the worker had allegedly sustained an injury until his return to work, so no investigation was done, and no reports were completed.
The employee’s supervisor alerted WC that employee had hurriedly moved his family during the fire. He had loaded and unloaded belongings onto a large truck and could have been injured moving his family since he had not mentioned a work injury previously.
Supervisor also stated the employee has a small ranch with horses and cattle to care for. He rides horses.
The claimant stated he’d had a hernia repair 2 years prior and worried it might have returned. He was examined the day before he filed his claim and while being examined, he made no mention of a work related injury to the treating NP. All told, the employee visited 8 physicians or NP’s, had an ultrasound, a MRI and an Agency Medical Exam that all concurred there was no hernia.
Claimant was not entitled to COP because he filed an Occupational Illness, saying his pain “worsened over time”
Information on CA-1(Injury) and CA-2 (Illness) Forms should be compared to the information on VA Form 2162
This provides a means of checks and balances between Injury Compensation and Safety
OSHA can audit this information. It should be the same
a. No forms are necessary
b. VA Form 2162
c. Note to self
A. It’s not important because nobody will see it after I send it in
B. It is a legal document that can be used after- the-fact by attorneys, OSHA, OWCP, TORT
a. CA-1 or CA-2
b. VA Form 2162
c. Both a and b
A. A trend
B. A category
C. A cause
D. A hazard