photo of a man wearing a hard hat and safety vest


A sports team spends most of its energy preparing for the game, but once the game is over, it is still important to evaluate what went right and what can be improved.

The same is true for a business that has an “incident” such as an accident, near miss, close call or a loss of any kind related to safety. Just like a sports team when they lose a game, when a safety-related loss occurs at a business there is typically a breakdown that is not always obvious. For a business, it is often related to the company’s internal processes, controls or procedures that can be tied to a root cause.

The root cause of an incident is the core or highest level issue that sets things in motion and ultimately leads to a problem. There are often several root causes that need to be determined so solutions can be implemented. Formally investigating an incident by looking beyond the immediate cause is the solution to uncover the underlying reasons a problem occurred.

Benefits of determining root causes of incidents include:

  • Preventing future injuries, auto accidents, near misses, and other losses
  • Saving money
  • Improving overall operations
  • Demonstrating commitment to providing a safe environment
  • Promoting positive morale
  • Improving overall business perception by customers and the public

Addressing underlying or root causes is necessary to accomplish the following:

  • Understanding why an incident occurred
  • Developing effective corrective action
  • Minimizing or eliminating consequences from potential future incidents

Click here for more information on incident investigations and root causes, as well as a sample incident investigation form.

Keyser’s Compliance & Risk Services team can help you implementing an incident investigation program that focuses on identifying root causes and implementing solutions to prevent losses from recurring. Contact Jenn Olson, vice president, Compliance & Risk Services by email or at 877.381.3570 x 410.