The occurrence of an incident, injury or loss in any operations is indicative of a lapse or weakness in the H&S management system. Investigating such occurrences in a structured and objective manner is the most effective way of preventing their recurrence.
The degree of success in this respect is largely dependent on how rigorously the incidents are investigated and how consistently the policy is applied across the organisation. That is, whether only major incidents are investigated or all occurrences, large and small, including near-misses are equally scrutinised and analysed.
Systematic, objective and impartial investigations are only feasible with properly constituted and implemented Incident Reporting and Investigation framework incorporating policy and procedures; tools and methodologies; goals, deliverables and timeline stipulations.