March 18, 2022 | Barb Carr

5 Reasons You May Need Evidence Collection Training

evidence collection

If you do incident investigations, you may be seeing some common problems occurring in your investigations because you and your investigation team need a little help in the area of evidence collection. Often, investigators receive little training on what to collect, when to collect it, how to collect or why to collect it.

Here are five reasons why you may need evidence collection training. (Learn more in our upcoming interviewing and evidence collection course – attend in-person or virtually.)

1. Your only evidence collection technique is interviewing.

If the only information you are collecting during your investigation is information from those who witnessed the incident, you are not alone. Many investigators we talk to rely solely on interviews to gather information about an incident.

Interviews are important to generate evidence but keep in mind even cooperative witnesses do not report all the information they know. It depends on the witness’s cognitive processes. For example, there are many factors that interfere with accurate memory recall. Reluctant witnesses are even harder to get information from because they may be worried they did something wrong that contributed to the incident or that they are going to get a co-worker into trouble. Also, all human beings have biases, even investigators. Are you really listening to the information provided by the witness or have you made up your mind about what contributed to the incident?

If the only evidence collection you are doing comes from interviews, consider evidence collection training to learn about other types of evidence you can collect to find out what happened that lead to an incident.

2. You are not getting enough information from your interviews.

As mentioned above, interviews are important to gathering information about a workplace incident (even though it should not be the only method you rely on). So, what if you are having trouble getting enough reliable information about an incident during an interview?

There may be several problems that can cause this. The primary one that we see is that investigators do not set the interview up properly. There is some work that goes into planning and conducting an interview beyond creating a list of questions and then asking those questions.

Another problem is when an investigator lacks the training needed to help facilitate the witness’s memory so he/she can recall events more accurately. Also, many investigators do not understand the science behind building rapport with a witness and how that contributes to getting better quality and quantity of information during an interview.

If you are not getting enough information from your interviews, it will be helpful for you to learn the TapRooT® 12-Step Interview Process which incorporates solutions for all of the problems (and more) mentioned above.

3. Evidence is disappearing before you can collect it.

Transitory (fragile) evidence is important to an incident investigation but if it is not collected quickly, it will disappear. There are many reasons for this. One is Locard’s Principle, or “every contact leaves a trace.” This means that after an incident occurs, first responders and other workers may enter the scene. Every time someone does, the scene changes. Evidence gets moved or destroyed.

Another common reason is that investigators do not realize what types of evidence are fragile so they don’t have it in their investigation plan to look for it. Fragile evidence may include rapidly changing environmental conditions or taking a picture of the position of indicators on equipment before the equipment is repaired (indicators often “stick” in the same indication/position that was present at the time of the incident).

If you feel like you are missing important pieces of information because you don’t know what types of evidence to capture first or what that information might provide to your investigation, consider evidence collection training.

4. You don’t know how to use your TapRooT® Tools to help you collect evidence. 

The TapRooT® Root Cause Tree and the TapRooT® Root Cause Tree Dictionary are valuable resources in helping you collect evidence. Many TapRooT® Investigators use these tools on a consistent basis not just for analysis and finding root causes but also for ideas on collecting better information.

If you don’t know how to use your TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Tools to collect information, you are missing a huge opportunity to collect better information for indisputable root cause analysis findings.

5. You keep having repeat incidents.

Did you know that you may be having repeat incidents because you are not spending enough time on evidence collection? Information collection should consume a good 70% of the time spent on your investigation. That may seem like a lot but consider this: how can you determine *why* an incident happened without determining *what* happened first?

If you are frustrated with the number of repeat incidents at your facility, register for evidence collection training.

Training Overview

Here’s a 3-minute video overview of what you can expect for our upcoming course.

And one BONUS reason why you should register for evidence collection training today!

In addition to the five reasons you may want to take this training, here is one more that is very important. It is the ONLY public evidence collection and interviewing techniques course we are offering in 2022. It will be held just prior to the 2022 Global TapRooT® Summit, so why not stay in beautiful East Tennessee the whole week and join us for the conference?

This is a hybrid course, attend in-person OR virtually!

TapRooT® Evidence Collection & Interviewing Techniques Course

May 2-3, 2022 (The Summit is May 4-6)

Knoxville, Tennessee

What is your favorite reason for taking this course? Let us know!

Interviewing & Evidence Collection, Investigations, Summit
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