Accident Reporting and Investigation Procedure

The reporting and investigation of workplace accidents and near miss incidents are important components of Humber’s overall safety program. The goal of the investigation process is to establish how and why an accident occurred so that corrective actions may be taken to prevent a recurrence of a similar or more serious event in the future.

 

Objectives

The objective of this procedure is to provide a consistent protocol for ensuring:

  1. the necessary medical care is immediately provided for any injured person, 
  2. preservation of the accident scene in the event of a fatal or critical injury,
  3. compliance with all legislated notification and reporting requirements,
  4. accident investigations are carried out to identify the underlying cause(s) and appropriate corrective measures are implemented to minimize the risk of recurrence
  5. appropriate notification is given to Humber’s Joint Health and Safety Committee and that an opportunity to participate in fatal or critical injury investigations is afforded to union (worker) members of the Committee

 

 Applicable Legislation

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter 0.1, as amended 
  • Regulations for Industrial Establishments, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 851, as amended 
  • Critical Injury – Defined, R.R.O. 1990, Reg.834   
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997

Scope

This procedure has been developed for and is applicable to all Humber employees, students, visitors and contractors.

Definitions

Definitions are provided in Appendix A.

 

Part A describes how accidents and near miss incidents are to be reported at Humber, while Part B sets out the accident investigation process. The responsibilities of the various workplace parties are summarized in Part C.  

PART  A

Reporting Accidents and Near Miss Incidents

As described below, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act set out specific reporting requirements with which Humber must comply.

In addition to fulfilling the legislative requirements, Humber requires the reporting of all injuries occurring to any person on Humber property, or during work/course-related activities on or off the premises. Near miss incidents must also be reported.    

The following procedures outline the reporting requirements for injuries, occupational illnesses and near miss incidents. 

Reporting Categories: 

  • Emergency Response Required (any person)
  • Employees
    • First Aid
    • Health Care
    • Lost Time
    • Occupational Illness
  • Students, Visitors and Clients
  • Contractors
  • Fatal or Critical Injuries (any person)
  • Students on Unpaid Work Placements
  • Near Miss Incidents

Emergency Response Required

When anyone calls for emergency services ([9]-911), it is essential that Public Safety also be immediately notified. This is so that Security Officers from Public Safety can respond to the emergency and direct emergency vehicles (ambulance, fire department, police) to the proper location. 

The first person on the scene shall immediately call Public Safety using one of the contact numbers shown below and state:

  • Their name.
  • Their location. (e.g. North Campus, Room A100)
  • Nature of the emergency giving as many specifics as possible.

External Emergency Number: Police, Ambulance, Fire Department: [9]-911

Campus

Emergency Number

North and Lakeshore

 4000           Internal Extension

Residence: North

 4000           Internal Extension

Residence: Lakeshore

 4000           Internal Extension

North Campus and Lakeshore Campus

Emergency phones in parking lots and corridors.

All Campus Locations

416-675-8500               Direct Line or College Pay Phone (free call)

Once emergency assistance has been provided and the immediate situation has been resolved, the incident must be reported by one of the methods described below, depending on whether the injured person is an employee, student, client, visitor, or contractor.

Employees

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act set out specific reporting requirements for occupational injuries and illnesses. 

Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act there are three categories of injury: first aid, health care and lost time. Humber must report all health care and lost time injuries to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) within 72 hours of occurrence or Humber can be fined for late reporting. Humber must also maintain written records of any first aid treatment given. Upon being notified of an occupational illness by an employee, Humber must submit written notification to the Ministry of Labour within four days.

HR Services is responsible for filing injury reports with the WSIB, managing the WSIB claims process, and while notifications to the Ministry of Labour.   

All employees are required to report all injuries and occupational illnesses in accordance with the following procedure.

  1. If emergency assistance is needed see Emergency Response Required section. Otherwise, 
  2. All injuries and occupational illnesses are to be reported to your supervisor/manager and the Health Centre (North Campus: LRC 2nd Floor, Lakeshore Campus: WEL202). If after hours, contact a Security Officer from Public Safety. Follow-up with the Health Centre the next day to complete the necessary documentation.
  3. The Health Centre will provide first aid, if required, and advise as to whether additional assessment and/or treatment should be obtained from a physician or other health care practitioner. The Health Centre will complete an Injury Treatment Report Form, with assistance from the injured employee, and document any first aid treatment provided.
  4. The injured employee shall report back to the Health Centre if he/she has consulted, or received treatment from, a physician or other health care practitioner to provide an update on their condition. All medical information received will be treated as confidential.
  5. The Health Centre shall forward a copy of the “Injury Treatment Report” to Human Resources for the purpose of WSIB reporting and claims management. A copy of the report shall also be sent to Health and Safety for the purposes of injury tracking and incident investigation.
  6. The supervisor/manager of the injured employee shall complete an Health & Safety Incident Report  and forward it to Health and Safety within 24 hours the injury. 
  7. Health and Safety shall review the reports received and if necessary, follow-up with the employee’s supervisor/manager regarding the incident investigation.
  8. Health and Safety shall prepare and provide summary WSIB reports to the Joint Health and Safety Committee during their scheduled meetings. The Committee Co-Chairs will be provided with written notification of all lost time injuries. The Committee will also be advised of any occupational illness in keeping with the requirements of the Act. This information will be treated as confidential.

Students, Visitors and Clients

  1. If emergency assistance is needed see Emergency Response Required section. Otherwise,
  2. Injuries to visitors/clients and to students outside of program-related activities on campus:
    • Humber personnel who become aware of an injury to a student or visitor shall report the incident to College Security and encourage the injured person to report to the Health Centre.
    • Injuries to students during class or program-related activities on campus: The instructor of the injured student shall advise the student to report to the Health Centre. The instructor or program coordinator shall complete an Health & Safety Incident Report and forward it to Health and Safety within 24 hours of the injury. 
  3. The Health Centre will provide first aid, if required, and advise as to whether additional assessment and/or treatment should be obtained from a physician or other health care practitioner. The Health Centre will complete an Injury Treatment Report Form, with assistance from the injured person, and document any first aid treatment provided.
  4. The injured person may be asked to report back to the Health Centre if he/she has consulted, or received treatment from, a physician or other health care practitioner to provide an update on their condition. All medical information received will be treated as confidential.
  5. The Health Centre shall forward a copy of the “Injury Treatment Report” to Health and Safety for the purpose of incident investigation.
  6. Health and Safety shall review the reports received and co-ordinate incident investigations as required.
  7. Health and Safety will forward copies of the reports to others (i.e. Financial Services) as required.

Contractors

  1. If emergency assistance is needed see Emergency Response Required section. Otherwise,
  2. Contractors of the College shall report all injuries and near miss incidents to:
    • their employer (e.g. Chartwells, Hurley, Siemens), and
    • the Administrator at Humber responsible for managing their contract. In turn, the Humber Administrator shall notify Health and Safety.
  3. The Humber Administrator responsible for managing the contract shall ensure an Health & Safety Incident Report is completed and forwarded to Environmental Health and Safety within 24 hours of the injury.
  4. Health and Safety will review the reports and follow-up as necessary.

Fatal or Critical Injury

The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations for Industrial Establishments set out specific reporting requirements for fatal or critical injuries. Where a person is killed or critically injured from any cause at the workplace the injury must be immediately reported to the Ministry of Labour, Humber’s Joint Health and Safety Committee and if applicable, the union representing the employee. A written report must be submitted to the Ministry of Labour within 48 hours of the occurrence.

In addition, the Act stipulates that the incident scene must be preserved for investigation purposes. Preservation of Wreckage: “Where a person is killed or critically injured at a workplace, no person shall, except for the purpose of,

  1. saving life or relieving human suffering;
  2. maintaining an essential public utility service or a public transportation system; or
  3. preventing unnecessary damage to equipment or other property,

interfere with, disturb, destroy, alter or carry away any wreckage, article or thing at the scene of or connected with the occurrence until permission to do so has been given by an inspector.” (Occupational Health and Safety Act, Section 51 (2))

In addition to the reporting procedures for employees, students, visitors and clients, and contractors outlined above, the following actions are to be taken in response to a fatal or critical injury:

  1. The first person on the scene shall report the injury to Public Safety, using the emergency contact numbers shown in the Emergency Response Required section to obtain emergency response.
  2. Public Safety and the supervisor/manager or instructor responsible for the area shall secure the incident scene to ensure the preservation of wreckage requirements of the Act and to prevent any additional injuries.
  3. Public Safety and the supervisor/manager or instructor responsible for the area shall immediately report the incident to Health and Safety (5021). After hours the Administrator “On-Call” shall be notified by Public Safety.  
  4. The Health Centre shall complete an “Injury Treatment Report” form as soon as possible after the incident. If necessary, the Health Centre may need to follow-up with the injured person at home to obtain all of the required information. The medical information received will be treated as confidential.
  5. The supervisor/manager or instructor responsible for the area shall notify their School or Department Head of the incident.
  6. The School/Department Head, or designate shall notify the injured person’s immediate family or other persons as directed by the individual. Where required, the School/Department Head or designate may request the assistance of the College nurse, police officer, clergy person, employee’s supervisor, counselor, union representative or other.
  7. Health and Safety will immediately notify the Ministry of Labour, the Joint Health and Safety Committee and, if the injured person is represented by a union, the appropriate OPSEU Local President or alternate. The Communications Manager, will also be apprised of the situation. If after hours, the Administrator “On-Call” will notify the Ministry of Labour.
  8. Health and Safety, in cooperation with the supervisor/manager for the area, shall coordinate the accident investigation process.
  9. Health and Safety shall submit a written Notification of Accidents report, detailing the prescribed information, to the Ministry of Labour within 48 hours of the accident.
  10. All media inquiries are to be directed to the Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications. Under no circumstances should any member of Humber, unless authorized to do so, make any statements to the media.

Students on Unpaid Work Placements

Students who must participate in unpaid work placements with an external employer in order to complete their program requirements are eligible for coverage through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. However, the coverage for students on unpaid work placements is funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and not by the placement employer or Humber.

It is the responsibility of the placement employer to complete an accident investigation. Humber is not directly involved in the investigation process.

  1. Humber personnel responsible for overseeing a student on unpaid work placement shall ensure that a Student Placement Incident Report is completed and submitted to the Health Centre. Forms are available from Human Resources. Alternatively, upon being notified of the incident, the Health Centre may complete the report on behalf of the student.
  2. The Health Centre shall send a copy of the report to Human Resources for submission to the WSIB, as appropriate.

Near Miss Incidents

For the purpose of this procedure, near miss incidents are those that have the potential to result in personal injury or property damage under slightly different conditions. Reporting and investigating near miss incidents affords an opportunity to better understand existing and potential workplace hazards and the underlying factors that may have contributed to the incident. By closely examining these factors, it is often possible to develop remedial measures that will eliminate, or reduce the likelihood of, a similar or more serious event.          

  1. Employees are to report all near miss incidents to their supervisor/manger.
  2. Supervisors/managers shall complete an Health & Safety Incident Report and submit it to Health and Safety within 24 hours of the incident.
  3. Health and Safety Services will review all reports received, and if necessary, follow-up with the supervisor/manager responsible for the area.

PART B

Accident and Near Miss Investigations

Investigations involve the systematic collection and analysis of information with the goal of determining the underlying or basic causes of an accident or near miss incident. Once the underlying causes are identified it is then possible to develop reasonable recommendations for change. It is equally important to evaluate any corrective action taken to ensure that it is effective and does in fact create a greater level of safety.

Investigations should be carried out in a manner that focuses on prevention rather than on finding fault or placing blame on an individual. The depth and complexity of an investigation will depend on the particulars of the accident itself.

Investigation Team

In most cases the supervisor/manager responsible for the area, or the work or program activity, is responsible for taking the lead role in the investigation process. Depending on the situation, other individuals may become involved including those directly affected by the accident, witnesses and those with special knowledge or technical expertise (from within or outside Humber). Health and Safety will provide assistance upon request.

In the event of a fatal or critical injury, Health and Safety will, in cooperation with the supervisor/manager involved, coordinate the reporting and investigation process to ensure compliance with the specific requirements of the Act and Regulations. A designated union (worker) member(s) of the Joint Health and Safety Committee will also participate in the investigation in keeping with the Act. 

Investigation Process

In order to minimize the likelihood of additional injury or property damage and to ensure a systematic approach to investigations, the following steps should be taken: 

  1. Initial Response
  2. Securing and Preserving the Scene
  3. Gathering Information
  4. Analysis
  5. Recommendations and Corrective Action
  6. Documentation
  7. Evaluation

i. Initial Response

The first consideration in responding to an accident scene is the personal safety of not only the individual(s) directly involved in the occurrence, but also of those responding.

  1. The first employee to arrive at the accident scene is to:
    • confirm the area is safe to enter before proceeding
    • contact Public Safety if emergency response is required
    • if necessary, and if trained to do so, provide first aid
    • contact the supervisor/manager for the area if not already present
    • enlist assistance from those in area, as needed (e.g. to place calls etc.)
  2. The supervisor/manager shall coordinate the following, requesting assistance as required:
    • ensure medical assistance is obtained as necessary (i.e. emergency response, Health Centre, transport to hospital)
    • stop ongoing hazards (locking out equipment/machinery, roping off an area to prevent access)
  3. Public Safety shall:
    • respond to the scene
    • coordinate emergency services (ambulance, fire department, police) by directing them to the scene
    • contact Facilities Management if building systems are affected (i.e. ventilation, electrical and fire and life safety systems, emergency power)
  4. Health and Safety has the authority to shut down/lock-out equipment if it is deemed to present an imminent safety hazard. Whenever possible, this will be done in consultation with the supervisor/manager responsible for the area.
  5. Health and Safety will establish an investigation team as required.

ii. Securing and Preserving the Scene

  1. The supervisor/manager responsible for the area shall, in the event of a fatal or critical injury, ensure the accident scene is preserved in accordance with the requirements of the Act. Public Safety will assist as required.
  2. In general when securing an accident scene, the supervisor/manager should do the following: 
    • if possible, ensure the scene will not be disturbed until the investigation is complete;
    • if it is necessary to get the accident scene back to operating condition, capture as much information as possible through photographs, sketches and measurements
    • secure materials or equipment that may need to be tested (e.g. suspected malfunctioning equipment or tools, metal fragments, chemical residues) 
    • identify all witnesses including injured persons
  3. All accidents and near miss incidents are to be reported as outlined in Part A to ensure compliance with all notification and reporting requirements set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

iii. Gathering Information

  1. The supervisor/manager and other members of the investigation team should consider the following sources of information when conducting an accident or near miss investigation:
    • inspection of the accident scene itself: general condition of the work area; the tools and equipment in use at the time of the accident; people, materials and processes involved; environmental conditions; engineering, personal protective equipment and other control measures being used or worn at the time
    • statements from eyewitnesses
    • people with expertise in the work being performed: either from within Humber or outside consultants 
    • operating manuals and instructions: often provide recommended procedures for use and maintenance
    • manufacturers and suppliers: may have knowledge about similar events or may have additional engineering or other data not generally found in operating manuals
    • review of workplace policies and procedures to be used in the work area, or related to the operation being undertaken at the time: recommended engineering controls, personal protective equipment, safe work practices etc.  
    • training records
    • other records and reports: for example, maintenance schedules and records, warranty information, purchasing history

iv. Analysis

The next step in the process is to analyze the information obtained during the investigation to determine why the accident or near miss incident occurred. In most cases, more than one cause will be determined.

  1. The supervisor/manager should first attempt to identify the “immediate causes” that lead to the event. Immediate causes can usually be seen or sensed and are therefore easiest to identify. Examples of immediate causes are listed in Appendix C.
  2. Each immediate cause should then be analyzed further to determine the reason behind it. For example, a missing guard (immediate cause) may be the result of inadequate maintenance practices, inadequate equipment standards or lack of awareness and training (basic or underlying causes). Examples of “basic causes” are also listed in Appendix C.

v. Recommendations and Corrective Action

The most important part of the investigation process is the identification of corrective measures to prevent a similar or more serious recurrence. Specific remedial actions should be identified and recommended to address each of the basic causes identified.  

  1. The supervisor/manager [with assistance from the investigation team] should identify appropriate corrective measures and determine which can be implemented immediately and which may require additional time and resources to implement (i.e. budget, senior administrative approval, expert assistance).
  2. The supervisor/manager is responsible for informing affected employees of the corrective actions taken and explaining how the changes may impact their activities.
  3. For significant accidents/incidents Humber may utilize the Tragic Event Support Network.

vi. Documentation

  1. The supervisor/manager shall document information related to each step of the investigation process including the specifics of any corrective actions taken and any additional corrective measures recommended to senior management. The “Health & Safety Incident Report” is to be used for this purpose. All additional information that cannot be included on the form, such as pictures, sketches and witness statements should be attached to the form.
  2. Once completed, the “Health & Safety Incident Report” and copies of all additional information shall be submitted to Health and Safety. Copies should also be forwarded to the next most senior management level.

vii. Evaluation

  1. The supervisor/manager is responsible for conducting a follow-up assessment of the corrective actions taken to ensure that the measures are effective and that employees are familiar with any new processes or procedures developed.
  2. If the corrective action(s) does not appear to be as effective or workable as planned, it will be necessary to consider alternative measures.  

PART C

Summary of Responsibilities

Employees

Employees are responsible for:

  • contacting Public Safety if emergency response is required 
  • reporting all injuries and occupational illnesses to their supervisor and the Health Centre 
  • reporting near miss incidents and workplace hazards to their supervisor  
  • participating in accident investigations upon request 
  • providing information related to an injury, as required by WSIB, to Human Resources  
  • maintaining contact with Human Resources and their supervisor through the recovery period and  cooperating with the return to work process

Supervisors/Managers       

Supervisors/managers are responsible for:

  • contacting Public Safety if emergency response is required
  • ensuring first aid is provided
  • reporting and investigating all injuries and near miss incidents
  • submitting completed “Health and Safety Incident Report” to Health and Safety Services
  • immediately notifying Health and Safety Services of all fatal and critical injuries
  • preserving the scene of a fatal or critical injury until a Ministry or Labour (MOL) inspector advises otherwise
  • developing and implementing corrective measures based on findings of investigation
  • monitoring corrective measures to determine effectiveness    

Public Safety

 The Department of Public Safety is responsible for:

  • coordinating emergency response
  • helping to secure and preserve scene
  • notifying College Administration as appropriate (e.g. after hours)
  • coordinating fatal and critical injury investigations in cooperation with School or Department affected 
  • providing support and assistance with investigations (non-critical) upon request 
  • reviewing Health & Safety Incident Report and making safety recommendations 
  • notifying and submitting reports to the MOL as required by the Act  
  • notifying and providing reports to the Joint Health and Safety Committee as required by the Act  
  • advising the Communications Manager of fatal/critical injuries or other significant events   
  • liaising with the Tragic Event Support Network 
  • tracking injury information and assessing trends 
  • arranging for, or providing, accident investigation training 

Health Centres

 The Health Centres are responsible for:

  • providing first aid and advising as to whether additional medical assessment should be obtained  
  • completing “Injury Treatment Report” forms and submitting copies to Health and Safety and Human Resources
  • maintaining confidential records

Human Resources 

The HR Services Department is responsible for:

  • submitting WSIB claims within the required time lines
  • liaising with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and administering all claims
  • coordinating the return to work process in conjunction with the injured employee and their supervisor
  • maintaining confidential records

Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee

The Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee is responsible for:

  • designating one or more union (worker) members to investigate fatal or critical injuries; one of those members has the right to inspect the scene and prepare a report
  • making recommendations to management regarding measures to improve health and safety based on participation in investigations and upon review of reports and information received