ELEMENT 1.1 ELEMENT 1.3 ELEMENT 1.4 ELEMENT 1.2 ELEMENT 1.5 NEBOSH HSE Introduction to Incident Investigation
Dangerous occurrences Dangerous occurrences under UK legislation include:
a collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over five metres tall;
an overturn of any load-bearing part of lifting equipment;
contact with overhead power lines;
fire or explosion that closes a premises for more than 24 hours; and
accidental release of a flammable substance of certain quantities.
These types of dangerous occurrences are often reportable under country-specific legislation, eg RIDDOR in the UK. Other parts
of the world may have similar regulations. However, you should bear in mind that this book is looking at minimal/low-level
investigations so it is very unlikely that you would be carrying out an investigation of one of these ‘reportable’ examples. You
are more likely to carry out investigations where minor or no injuries have occurred. Examples of these might be:
a fall from a step-ladder causing a sprained ankle; or
a hammer falling off a shelf and hitting someone on the arm causing bruising.
There are also workplace diseases that are reportable, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and occupational asthma, as well as
other diseases such as leptospirosis or Legionnaires’ disease.
Why do we investigate incidents? The primary reason for investigating accidents and incidents is to identify the contributory causes to prevent recurrence. If
the incident is reportable within the country’s legal framework, we would have to ensure that relevant information surrounding
the circumstances of the incident is gathered to pass on to the relevant regulatory authority. The same would apply for the
organisation’s insurance company if there was a chance for injured parties to seek compensation for the harm caused to them,
or potentially claiming on company insurance directly for damage to equipment or property.