• Safety Basics, 
  • WorkSafeBC

  March 30, 2023

Investigate Incidents

If there is an incident in your workplace in which a worker is injured or could have been seriously injured (i.e., a near miss), both you and WorkSafeBC have specific responsibilities.

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Investigate Incidents

Incident investigations help to determine the factors that led to the incident and the actions you need to take to prevent it from happening again.

One type of investigation may be carried out by you as an employer. The other may be performed by WorkSafeBC.

Employer investigations

You are legally required to immediately investigate the following:

  • A serious injury or the death of a worker
  • Incidents that result in injuries that need medical treatment
  • Incidents that have the potential for serious injury (for example, near misses)
  • Diving incidents
  • Major failures or collapses of structures
  • Major releases of hazardous substances

The basic goals of an employer incident investigation are as follows:

  • Determine the root causes of the incident.
  • Identify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures that contributed to the incident.
  • Develop and implement corrective actions to prevent or minimize the risks of similar incidents.

As an employer, you’re responsible for completing a series of reports that reflect the four stages of an investigation. And depending on the seriousness of the incident (for example, if a worker is seriously injured or killed), you may need to report it immediately to WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC investigations

WorkSafeBC may investigate some incidents to determine the cause and examine the relevant circumstances. In some cases, WorkSafeBC investigations may lead to administrative penalties or even prosecution.

For more information:

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