Accident Investigation

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Accident investigators conduct investigations in such situations as road traffic accidents, industrial incidents, injuries resulting from people falling, fraudulent insurance claims and more. Training includes how to secure an accident area, gather facts and evidence, interview witnesses and victims, determine events and causes, and write reports.
An incident investigation is a systematic effort to determine the answer to six key questions: what happened, when did it occur, who was involved, how did it happen, why did it happen, and how can it be prevented in the future. The first five questions are analytical in nature. They reconstruct what occurred up to the culmination of the negative event. That involves taking things apart into their constituent parts, examining them, determining their role and significance in the final outcome, and reassembly of the pertinent facts to generate a complete and as accurate as possible explanation of the chain-of-events leading up to the incident. The last question is one of synthesis, a pulling together of all the answers of the previous five questions into a coherent and comprehensive view of the event. While these are simple questions, the task of gaining satisfactory answers to them may not always be simple.
Gathering Information. The primary purpose of the second stage of investigation is to gain data. Think of this as evidence collection. The duration will be dependent upon the type of investigation selected in the last step of the previous stage. A thin investigation will not require much information, while a thick investigation will require much more information. This stage also has several critical tasks to be achieved before moving on to the next stages. There is a concurrent task that should occur throughout the information gathering process. The investigator must continuously identify gaps in data and seek to bridge those gaps in the course of the...