ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- To properly report an accident, you have to know what is considered an accident. Once you understand this, you are ready to learn the proper way to report an incident.
So, what is considered an incident? An incident can be several things. For safety reporting purposes, an incident can be a near miss, an injury, damage to property or a motor vehicle accident.
Near misses should always be reported to your supervisor immediately. A near miss is when you were almost injured but narrowly avoided being injured. For example, when a piece of metal from a part being machined flies through the air and strikes your safety glasses. If you were not wearing your safety glasses, you could have lost an eye or got metal embedded in your eye. Because you had on proper personal protective equipment, you avoided injury.
Why would you want to report a near miss? We report near misses because they need to be checked out to prevent possible future injuries. We need to know how the metal got around the safety guard and struck your safety glasses. Maybe there is a gap in the guard or the guard is broken or insufficient. If it happened once, it can happen again. By reporting near misses, we are aware of them and can perform an investigation to find the root cause. Finding the root cause and making corrections helps prevent this from happening to someone else.
Injuries should be reported immediately to your supervisor as well. An injury is when you get hurt on the job. It could be a bad bruise from hitting your leg on a tank hatch. It could be that you slipped and fell on a wet floor causing a bump on your head. It could be a laceration to your arm from a sharp edge. There are numerous way in which one can get injured on the job. These injuries need to be reported so that we can investigate and try to prevent this from happening to someone else. Remember the next injury can be worse! The goal is to be able to prevent this type of injury from happening again.
Damage to government property
It is important to report damage to government property to your supervisor immediately. Remember, if it is at all possible, leave the scene just as it is until the investigation is completed. Suppose you are operating a forklift and you strike a cable sticking out of a box causing the side window of the forklift to crack. We need to know if the cable sticking out is a one time thing or is it common practice. If it is common practice, we need to look at the process and see if we need to change something to prevent a reoccurrence. Now, suppose you strike a post on the corner of a mezzanine. This needs to be reported immediately to your supervisor as well. We need to ensure the post is still structurally sound so whatever is on the mezzanine does not comes down on someone due to the structure of the post being compromised.
Motor vehicle accidents
Anytime you are in motor vehicle accident, you must report this to the Department of Emergency Services (DES) immediately. This is done by dialing 911and letting the operator know that you are calling from Anniston Army Depot. DES will let the Safety department know and Safety will complete an investigation.
Here are some simple rules to always follow for accidents/incidents:
If you witness an accident or near miss:
Render assistance. Don’t disturb the scene unless instructed by DES or Safety.
Work related injuries/illnesses:
Notify the supervisor or lead person immediately. Supervisors will complete a clinic pass form and notify the Safety office via the “Red Button” on the intranet.
Safety Red Button:
Supervisors must report all work related injuries to the Safety office immediately following the occurrence by using the Safety office “Red Button” on the intranet.
For medical emergencies:
Call 911 or 235-6172 from a land line
The Safety office is responsible for reporting injuries to OSHA annually, but we also have to report to command monthly. Command requires us to track accidents, injuries and property damage. We look at numbers because numbers are indicators. The more near misses we have, the more likely we are to have an injury. The more minor injuries we have, the more likely we are to have a major injury.
Accident investigation plays an important role in preventing future accidents and injuries. The more accidents we prevent, the more people get to go home safely to their loved one every day. Employees going home safely is high on our list of priorities! We want everyone to go home safely, every day!