Methods for analysis of accidents at work

Good and effective accident prevention presupposes knowing all the reasons for the accident. Enterprises can obtain this knowledge by using the Danish WEA's tool to analyse accidents. The tool helps identify the causes of the accident and establishes the situations in which safety must be improved to prevent recurrences.

It is often relatively easy to identify exactly why a physical injury occurs; it could be an employee slipping and hitting his or her head on an edge. However, analyses by the Danish WEA of accidents at work  throughout many years show that there are always one or more planning-related or personal reasons which may have significance for the physical problem.

The purpose of the method is to:

  • identify the chain of events occurring prior to the accident
  • identify the interaction between physical problems, personal carelessness and oversights in planning
  • investigate whether similar accidents could occur, including at other places in the enterprise
  • Identify where safety could be improved.

This method is described in the guidelines on using the guide. The method includes a guide to learn from accidents (Word, 515 KB) (in PDF, 101 KB) and a dialogue tool (PDF, 398 KB).

The "guide to learn from accidents" is a simple tool. The guide includes 15 categories of possible causes of an accidents at work. It enables the enterprise to learn more about the causes of the accident and thus carry out effective and long-lasting preventive measures. The dialogue tool is a graphic version of the main elements in the guide. With the guide and the dialogue tool, the enterprise can identify the causes of a specific accidents at work in a simple and systematic manner.

The guide to learn from accidents has been developed for use by all enterprises in all types of accidents. Therefore, the guide is also available as an editable document (Word, 515 KB), making it possible to adapt to a specific sector or enterprise and specific types of accidents.