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23. ACCIDENTS AND NEAR-MISS CASES A near-miss or accident investigation report must clarify the following: 1. A DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCIDENT A careful description of the event ensures receiving fair compensation for the accident. The most precise description of the accident is also important in terms of legal security of the parties involved. When describing the event explain: what was being done, what happened and how, where, when, and who was present. Were there machines and equipment used? or was an insured motor vehicle being used? Did the conditions, somehow, affect the course of events? The consequences of the event or the potential consequences of the near-miss case, injuries, duration of sick leave, material damage or costs must also be explained. 2. CAUSES OF THE ACCIDENT Be honest about the causes of the event. Look in the mirror. If you did not follow the instructions, explain why. Think, what had prevented serious consequences. A good tool to determine the causes of the accident is to ask ’’why’’ 5 times, or as many times as needed to affect them in every possible way. 3. HOW SIMILAR SITUATIONS CAN BE AVOIDED IN THE FUTURE Even if we cannot determine conclusively all causes of the accident, we can still plan action measures to prevent recurrence of similar accidents in the future. Think what could have been done to prevent the accident, and where else similar accident may occur. Action measures must be realistic. The action plan shall describe the person responsible and the deadline for implementation. For example, ”let’s be more careful” is not a measure to prevent an accident, but providing training on how to use a device may be. And for the drivers… It’s time to put on your winter tyres… Don’t smoke or write SMS while driving. 108


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