What is the purpose of incident investigation?

Within a company or office, there are frequently endless possibilities for an accident to happen. Innately, these opportunities vary from company to company. It is the duty of an organization to make sure that both their clients and the people who work on their behalf are as safe as possible for the tasks at hand.

When determining what can be identified as an “incident,” we must look at the conditions. If the conditions below are accurate, an incident can be found to have occurred:

  • An incident that doesn’t really cause harm but has the potential to do so is referred to as a “near miss.”
  • An unfavorable situation or a collection of events or conditions that may lead to harm or poor health.

Table of Contents

What is an incident investigation?

Incident investigation is a methodical and thorough process used to establish the reason or causes of an incident and what may be done to prevent it from occurring in the future again. The aim of any incident investigation is to comprehend what went wrong, pinpoint the incident’s underlying cause, and come to conclusions about what needs to be done to stop future occurrences of incidents that are similar to this one.

Essential data from this process may also be used to enhance systems, processes, and procedures. The inquiry may also assist in determining who should be held accountable for the occurrence and may offer suggestions for improving safety and risk management procedures. Additionally, incident investigations can be utilized to produce evidence in support of legal or regulatory needs, as well as to give stakeholders and public transparency and assurance.

Steps in an incident investigation

As established, incident investigations are highly complex processes. There is a lot riding on these investigations, and hence conducting each of the several steps of these processes flawlessly is essential. The incident investigation typically involves a systematic and structured approach that involves the following steps:

  • Gathering information: The first step in any incident investigation is to gather information about the incident. This may include collecting witness statements, reviewing documentation, and collecting physical evidence. The information gathered will help to build a complete picture of what happened and what factors contributed to the incident.
  • Analyzing the information: The information gathered during the investigation is then analyzed and assessed to determine the cause or causes of the incident. This may involve using tools such as cause-and-effect diagrams, event and timeline analysis, and fault tree analysis. The investigation is also essential to remove any contradicting statements and fully identify the truth of the incident.
  • Identifying the root cause: The information analyzed during the investigation is used to determine the root cause of the incident. The root cause is the underlying cause that, if addressed, would have prevented the incident from happening. The root cause is essential to find out to make recommendations as to the liability.
  • Making recommendations: Based on the analysis of the information and identification of the root cause, requests are made for what can be done to avoid similar occurrences from happening in the future. These recommendations may include changes to processes, procedures, and systems or additional training for employees.

Recommendations would also extend to identifying the liability. For instance, if two parties are involved in an accident incident, the incident investigator has the duty of concluding which party was the root cause of the accident, thereby assigning liability to that party.

  • Implementing corrective actions: The final step in an incident investigation is to execute the remedial actions recommended to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. This may involve changes to processes, procedures, and systems or additional training for employees.

The implementation process comes down to the hiring party. For instance, in an office setup, the firm would have to implement the corrective actions and make changes to policies of conduct.

Why is an incident investigation conducted?

The purpose of accident investigation is multi-faceted and serves several important objectives. There are many occurrences that would necessitate the undertaking of an indecent investigation. Incident investigations are performed for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • To improve safety and risk management practices: Incident investigations can provide valuable insights into ways to improve safety and risk management practices. This can involve changes to policies, procedures, and systems, as well as changes to the way in which work is performed.
  • To support legal or regulatory requirements: Incident investigations may be required by law or regulation and must be performed in a manner that is consistent with these requirements. The results of an examination may also be used to support legal or regulatory actions, such as compensation claims or lawsuits.

In a legal setting, these investigations can even make or break a case for a party. For instance, suppose there is a case requiring accident investigations Connecticut; then, by hiring an investigator for the case, the aggrieved party can present why it must be compensated to the fullest extent.

  • To establish accountability and responsibility: Incident investigations can help to show who was responsible for an incident and what actions they took that contributed to the incident occurring. This information can be used to hold individuals accountable and to help ensure that incidents are prevented in the future.

To avoid a he-said-she-said situation, an investigation that reveals who was, in fact, accountable for the occurrence of the incident becomes highly necessary.

  • Providing transparency and assurance to stakeholders and the general public: Incident investigations can give stakeholders and the available public transparency and assurance that an incident has been thoroughly investigated and that the proper steps are being taken to stop similar incidents from occurring in the future. For an organization to continue to enjoy the support of the general public, this may be crucial.

Incident investigation is thus a critical tool for understanding what went wrong in the aftermath of an incident and for taking the steps necessary to avoid similar occurrences from taking place in the future. It enables organizations to make informed decisions about how to improve upon the existing procedures and systems and can take action to reduce the likelihood of future incidents.

What are the functions of an incident investigator?

Given the seriousness of the nature of the job, it is safe to assume that an incident investigator has a lot of functions to carry out. In addition, they also must be skilled at their job in order to ensure that no part of the process goes unchecked. It is the primary duty of the investigator to ensure that every aspect of the investigation has been thoroughly checked and analyzed.

The functions of an incident investigator range from gathering and analyzing information to identifying the root cause of an incident, making recommendations for preventing similar incidents in the future, and implementing or suggesting corrective actions.

An incident investigator is responsible for conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine what happened, why such a thing happened, and what can be done to prevent such incidents from reoccurring in the future. The specific functions of an incident investigator may include the following:

  • Collecting Intel: The incident investigator is responsible for gathering all relevant information about the incident. It is their duty to find out if there were any witnesses to the incident that occurred or if there is a paper trail to be followed, which could provide valuable insight.

All in all, they must find out what happened by exploring a plethora of options, as well as assessing whether or not the information collected is reliable or not. Drawing a full image of the incident as it occurred is the primary role of an investigator.

  • Combing through the information: While conducting an investigation and interviewing multiple witnesses or going through stacks of documentation, an investigator will find a lot of information. Some of which would be useless. It is thus the function of the investigator to crop out pertinent portions of the information gathered.

Identifying essential pieces of information (both pros and cons to one’s case) would help in correctly assessing what really happened. As the role of an investigator is primarily unbiased, they do not have to find information that is incriminating towards one, but rather all the information to find out the truth of the matter.

  • Assigning accountability: The incident investigator is responsible for identifying the root cause of the incident. This would enable them to identify who must be held accountable and, by extension, what measures need to be taken to address or resolve the incident that occurred.
  • Suggesting Solutions: To enhance the existing systems and effectively resolve the current issues, the investigator would also perform the function of making helpful suggestions regarding potential solutions. These suggestions must be made after carefully assessing the case and all the information.
  • Employing corrective measures: The incident investigator is responsible for implementing the disciplinary actions as well. What kind and degree of changes are required is to be suggested by the investigator based on their analysis of the incident.

Changes recommended can range anywhere from changing specific policies to firing or punishing certain people as needed in order to improve or enhance safety.

In addition to these specific functions, an incident investigator should also have a number of other vital skills and attributes, including the following:

  • Attention to detail: An incident investigator must have keen attention to point and be able to thoroughly examine all aspects of an incident in order to identify the root cause. Remembering the minutest details and picking up on micro pieces of evidence is a crucial part of this job.
  • Communication skills: An incident investigator must be able to effectively communicate with the wide range of stakeholders, including witnesses, employees, and senior management. They should be able to clearly and precisely explain the findings of the investigation and the recommended corrective actions.

This is essential for multiple reasons, one of them being the ability to get witnesses talking. Furthermore, communication skills would also help them in effectively communicating their recommendations and solutions.

  • Objectivity: An incident investigator must be objective and impartial when conducting an investigation. They must not allow personal biases or opinions to influence their findings. Objectivity is a crucial skill and one which quickly gets overshadowed. An investigator must thus remain unbiased at all times, irrespective of whether the case may seem to be inclining in favor of one party.
  • Technical expertise: An incident investigator must have a good understanding of the technical aspects of the incident, including the policies, procedures, and measures which were in place at the time the incident took place. This is because such technical aspects could also have a significant role in the occurrence of the incident.
  • Problem-solving skills: An incident investigator must be able to identify and analyze complex problems in order to determine the driving cause of an incident. They must be able to apply a systematic and structured approach to problem-solving. An investigator must be flawless at common attributes like deduction and reasoning.
  • Leadership skills: An incident investigator must be able to lead and manage the investigation, including coordinating the work of team members and ensuring that the investigation is conducted in a timely and efficient manner.

In a nutshell, the functions of an incident investigator are many, and a person needs to be highly skilled and thorough in order to become an investigator in this capacity. By performing these functions, an investigator can help organizations to understand what went wrong in the aftermath of an incident and to take the steps necessary to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.


Finding the reason or origins of an incident or occurrence and identifying what can be done to stop similar instances from occurring in the future are the two main goals of incident investigation. In order to take remedial and preventive measures to lessen the possibility of a repeat of the occurrence, it is crucial to figure out the cause of the incident.

We at Ranno Investigative services offer cutting-edge investigation services to resolve all your incident investigation problems.

If you are looking for accident investigations Connecticut, reach out to us today!

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