January 15, 2024 | Barb Carr

Incident Investigation Preparation

incident investigation preparation

Last week, we discussed how an investigation policy/procedure is essential to incident investigation preparation. Its guidance is not only important to ensure the safety and well-being of workers, but can also mitigate legal and financial liabilities that may arise from workplace incidents. This article explores three more ideas: creating an investigation kit, consulting corporate counsel, and training your investigation team.

1. Prepare an Investigation Kit

Many of our clients prepare grab-and-go investigation kits. When an incident occurs, they are ready to do a site visit and are assured they will have everything they need when they get there. The following infographic will give you ideas about how to put one together.

incident investigation preparation

2. Consult Corporate Counsel

Preplanning may also include a meeting with corporate counsel. They will help you ensure your investigations are conducted effectively, ethically, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The infographic below describes a few ways corporate counsel can help with incident investigation preparation.

corporate counsel

Train your Investigation Team and Assign Roles

Ensure that your team is trained to do an incident investigation and that everyone knows what their role is. For example, you may decide that for simple investigations, the Shift Manager may assign a qualified Investigator to perform the investigation. Additional team members may be assigned if additional assistance is needed based on the preliminary investigation.

For Major Investigations, who will assign an Investigation Team Leader and team members to perform the investigation? The investigation team may include an Investigation Team Leader from the incident owner’s department, a Coach for performance improvement, and other team members who understand the process involved. The team may also include a contractor representative if contractor personnel were involved, and a union representative if bargaining unit personnel were involved. For Major Investigations, optimally the Team Leader, team members, and Coach are assigned on a full-time basis and relieved of other duties for the duration of the investigation.

Following are examples to consider for training qualifications:

  • Investigator: complete the TapRooT® 2-Day Root Cause Analysis Course or the TapRooT® 5-Day Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training.
  • Investigation Team Leader: complete the TapRooT® 5-Day Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training and experience as a Team Member or Investigator on at least two investigations before being assigned as an Investigation Team Leader.
  • Coach: Team Leader Qualifications plus the Coach must have led at least one Major Investigation. The Coach is selected from outside the department involved in the incident to provide an independent perspective.

Training the team and assigning roles ahead of an investigation is essential to a great investigation.

Learn more about improving your incident investigations.

Learn more about being prepared for an incident investigation by attending the TapRooT® 2-Day Effective Interviewing and Evidence Collection Course. You will learn other preplanning ideas, like:

  • how to prepare an investigation kit
  • the role of corporate counsel in evidence collection
  • packaging evidence
  • collecting & packaging trace evidence
  • labeling evidence & evidence logs

plus, you’ll learn:

  • the essentials of scene management
  • how to prepare for a site visit to collect information
  • how to collect better information using TapRooT® Tools
  • the TapRooT® 12-Step Interview Process
  • decoding nonverbal communication and more!

This course is only offered ONCE in 2024 as a PreSummit Course during Global TapRooT® Summit Week. Join us at the Horseshoe Bay Resort (near Austin, Texas) April 29-30, 2024. Plan to stay for the 3-day Summit that follows May 1 – 3, 2024.

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