Mike Troutman informs FGIA attendees how to investigate an accident and prevent future ones.

“Good accident protocol not only protects your company but your team,” said Mike Troutman, vice president of EHS Excellence at MI Windows and Doors. He educated attendees of the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) 2021 Virtual Annual Conference on how to develop proper accident investigation protocols. “Don’t push the panic button—breathe—but act quickly,” he said.

Troutman pointed out that an effective accident investigation program includes written procedures. “This could be as simple as a form completed the same way, every time,” he said.  Make sure you assign responsibility to an employee for conducting investigations who has some background and training, and make sure they complete a written report, he advised.

“Focus on the facts. Don’t blame. Don’t rush to judgment as that could cloud an investigation,” he said. “Always have follow-up recommendations to improve the process.”

Other helpful information he shared included:

  • Leave names out of the investigation;
  • Visit the scene before the physical evidence is disturbed. Secure the scene. Don’t let others get hurt;
  • Obtain eyewitness info as soon as possible;
  • Preserve and document the scene. Collect the facts through interviews;
  • Observe key equipment;
  • Recommend corrective action, and name the person responsible;
  • Communicate the results after all the data has been gathered; and
  • Have an environmental checklist—were any of these contributing factors?

Troutman also stressed that it is extremely important to look at what accidents cost your company, and suggested looking at OSHA’s Safety Pays program. This can help estimate the cost and the impact of an accident on a company’s profitability, he said.

The conference ends today. Stay tuned to USGNN™ for our continuing coverage.