Causes, investigation and prevention is an awful lot for a two day course, but the three elements fit together so well that a great deal can be learned in quite a short time.

Accidents do not “just happen” and if we believe that they are caused by unsafe acts and unsafe conditions then we are not going to get very far. The first part of this course explains some pretty technical material in a way that everyone can understand, and will enable you to see what accidents are and how they happen. The second element shows you, in very practical terms, how to investigate an accident. This is aimed mainly at in-house investigation but would also be useful for external investigators. From here it is not too difficult to go on to see how to prevent accidents. In two days you can learn enough about accidents to make a real difference in understanding and preventing them.

Accidents cost money. The obvious costs (for example; loss of production, replacing damaged equipment and injured personnel) might be covered by insurance, but nevertheless the disruption is unwelcome. But the hidden costs (for example; compensation claims, increased insurance, loss of reputation, loss of customers and orders) can be much greater. If you are in any way responsible for the management of health and safety, you will know that preventing accidents is an essential and necessary task in any industry.

Module 1:

  • How Heinrich got it wrong (and how accountants made it worse)
  • The strange attraction of the “unsafe act”
  • Statistics and the art of the obvious
  • Better ideas: the generation of accidents
  • James Reason
  • Systems and signs

Module 2:

  • The seven essential arts of the accident investigator
  • What do you have in your investigation tool kit?
  • What do you do, when you do it, and why
  • The essential timeline and how post-it notes can make the difference
  • Interviews, interrogation and the fine art of finding out what you need to know
  • Writing the report
  • Who gets to read it and what difference it should make

Module 3:

  • Clever use of the accident report
  • Safety committees and how to waste a lot of time and money
  • What difference does your Safety Management System make?
  • How to get everyone to report those incidents and accidents and why it matters
  • Accident statistics and how to make them work for change
  • Don’t “go with the flow”; prevent accidents instead

Accident investigation and prevention is deadly serious, but the course doesn’t have to be boring. It isn’t. We teach using:

  • Powerpoint presentations with lots of pictures and even a few jokes
  • exercises, quizzes and presentations – some of which you prepare
  • role-play and active participation

Each participant receives a copy of Dr Thornhill’s book Accidents: Causes, Investigation and Prevention and a bound course workbook which contains course exercises, check lists and learning points. There are also references to other useful sources of information.