An accident is an unexpected or unplanned occurrence that intrudes or obstructs a normal course of events; causing injuries, diseases or even death. According to the International Labour Organisation, a worker dies every 15 s and there are 6000 work-related accidents each day. Factors that cause accidents can include but are not limited to: lack of training, incorrect usage or non-usage of personal protective equipment, negligence, lack of adequate supervision, unsafe condition, faulty equipment, lack of concentration, stress etc.
Accident investigation is an analytical understudy of the processes and events that led to an accident, in a bid to prevent future occurrence and improve the system. According to the Factories Act 2004 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, accidents that have resulted in loss of life or disabilities of worker for more than three days must be reported. The first step in the investigation into the cause of the accident is a visit to the scene to obtain information leading up to the accident. Persons to be interviewed include: the injured person, supervisor, human resources executive, eye witness and safety officer. Questions are asked regarding the task being performed by the victim, the equipment and materials used, the physical environment, the condition of the personnel involved and the role of management system. The physical evidence such as the equipment used, safety devices in use, position of appropriate guard, time of the day, nature of work and lighting level are also collected.
All the information and evidence gathered are presented in a technical report stating the observed possible causes or contributory factors and specific constructive recommendations. The accident investigation report is then forwarded to the management of the factory, in order to make necessary changes that will ensure the safety of workers and forestall reoccurrence of accidents.