Accident investigation is comprised of two separate and distinct parts. The first part covers the actual handling and/or payment of a claim. The claims reporting procedures in the Report a Claim section of this website should be followed completely. The second part of this program covers the investigation of an accident to determine its cause in order to take corrective action needed to prevent additional accidents from this same cause. The second part is discussed below.
The most important part of a loss control program is a quality accident investigation program that accomplishes the following:
- Determining the accident cause coupled with strong, timely corrective measures prevents a repetition of accidents from this same cause or similar causes.
- Each quality accident investigation demonstrates to all employees, teachers, students and parents the determination by parish management to prevent injuries and property losses.
Parish management has the responsibility to investigate accidents as set forth in this procedure and to take remedial action immediately, or in some cases requesting approval for remedial action from the Diocesan office. Every employee must understand clearly that every injury is to be reported immediately. The policy for reporting accidents and injuries is as follows:
- All job-related accidents or injuries, no matter how slight, must be reported promptly to the immediate supervisor. If necessary, the supervisor directs the injured party to first aid attention. If the condition is beyond the location’s first aid capability, the injured party is referred to outside medical attention, i.e. doctor, clinic or hospital.
- Once notified that outside medical attention is required, the supervisor investigates the accident and completes all questions on the Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Report before the end of the work day during which the accident occurred or is reported and submits it through his immediate supervisor for prompt transmittal to the Pastor. After review, the Pastor forwards the report to the Claims Administrator immediately.
While investigating an accident, the supervisor must keep these principles in mind:
- Whenever there is an accident, there is a definite sequence of related factors.
- An accident does not just happen. It is the result of someone’s action or inaction or the existence of a mechanical or physical hazard.
- An accident/injury do not occur every time an unsafe act is performed or every time a person is exposed to an unsafe condition.
- When an accident does occur, it is often a matter of luck as to how serious the injury or property damage may be. In addition, these four basic questions must be answered: 1.) Why did the accident occur?; 2.) What can be done to prevent an accident from occurring from this cause again?; 3.) When will this (item number 2) be done? and 4.) When will the injured employee return to work?