5 Reasons Your Contracting Business Should Take Incident Investigations Seriously

On occasion, something bad will happen during a project. Afterward, you may consider investigating the incident. People often hesitate to evaluate a situation, to determine if they could or should have acted differently to avoid an accident. They may be afraid of taking responsibility. Investigations are important, however, because they help you prevent the same thing from happening again. Here are five reasons to perform an investigation after each incident you encounter.

Get the Facts
Right after an incident or near miss is the best time to sit down and think through the actions that led to the problem. Once people get a week or two past the fact, they may forget some details or crucial failures that triggered the incident. It’s important for business owners to take a collaborative approach, not a punitive one. In short, if you want to get all the information, you need to have everybody on the same page. Make sure that your employees understand that they won’t be punished for working with you to get more information because they’ll be more likely to come forward to report incidents that way.

Find Problems
As you go through the steps before, during, and after the incident, you may spot some obvious problems. In the moment, it can be really easy to get frustrated or start to point fingers at people who may have made mistakes. Instead, going through the incident investigation helps you to highlight anything that went wrong, as well as the effect that it caused. Sometimes the investigation brings up issues with your workflow that you didn’t even know you had. A lack of clarity on safety practices or industry standards could be relatively easy to correct, but only if you know that what you’re doing right now is insufficient.

Identify Causes
By this point, you’ll probably have a set of circumstances that can help you to identify the causes of the problem. If A led to B, which caused C, the investigation allows you to examine what made A and B more likely to happen. For example, a consistent under-use of PPE in certain high-risk tasks might prompt you to realize that you’re not storing the PPE in the right place. Making it easier to access could increase the rate of use, lowering the risk of injury. At this point, it’s good to brainstorm several possible causes for each failure.

Devise Solutions
If the investigation brings up a variety of causes of the incident, you can use that information to start coming up with solutions. It’s a good idea to get input from your workers, especially those who were related to the incident. They may have important context that you need in order to truly understand the problem and create a solution that is most likely to work. The investigation doesn’t always point to an obvious solution, which means that you may need to try out more than one. Having all the relevant facts will pave the way.

Avoid Future Concerns
Whenever you read about a serious accident in construction, you’ll probably notice that there were a lot of failures that happened before it turned into a catastrophe. If you want to avoid these kinds of problems, you have to be willing to challenge each failure as it happens. Sweeping it under the rug and hoping that it won’t be a problem only creates a culture in which workers are disincentivized to report unsafe behavior or problematic practices. If you invest the time to investigate it honestly from the beginning, you’ll be more likely to prevent the situation from happening again.

No one enjoys handling incidents, but the investigation can help you build a better contracting business. To learn more about the path to becoming a licensed contractor, visit CSLS today!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit www.MakeMeAContractor.com and tuned for more informative posts.