The Office of Risk Management began a school/workplace safety initiative to increase safety awareness and reduce work-related injuries at all sites. The District's insurance broker, Arthur J. Gallagher and Company is coordinating the safety initiatives with their Managing Director, Jim Smith, M.S., CSP. Mr. Smith has begun to work with selected schools by initially meeting with principals and further site safety plans will be developed in cooperation with school/department needs and Mr. Smith's vast knowledge in workplace safety initiatives and programs.
“Reporting and Investigating Accidents/Near Misses’”
As you know, Brevard County Schools has a well-established work-related injury reporting procedure where each injury is reported to the principal or the supervisor of the employee. In most cases, the school or department secretary will be the person that has the most information about the accident as she/he completes the first report of injury. In many instances following the claim report, the details of the accident are lost and this is the end of the process. In reality, active caring for employees includes sending the right message to staff by creating a foundation of accident prevention. This can begin for the injured employee and staff through investigating how the work accident occurred to learn what the contributory factors and root causes were that led to the accident and subsequent injury.
Active investigations can lead to “lessons learned” or preventing other employees from having a similar experience. No question, you may find in the investigation a poor practice or act occurred by an employee, but you might also learn why the employee performed the work that way. There could be many reasons for a bad work practice such as a lack of skills or knowledge, a physical limitation, cutting corners to get the job done, not mentality at work today, following poor directions/work set-up, lack of equipment, or just poor execution. An objective investigation to gather the facts will lead to determining what happen so we can either correct that individuals actions or correct the overall bad practice thereby reducing the chance others will suffer a similar fate.
To make the process of investigation easier, Risk Management has created a simple Supervisor/Principal Investigation tool to capture the necessary information to determine what the contributory cause or root cause of the accident event. As we look at these accident investigation reports, we may see trends and we will hopefully capture evidence-based information in order to making valid changes where necessary to prevent future accident events.
Jim D. Smith