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OHS Tip: Joint Accident/Incident Investigations (JAIs) - BCGEU

OHS Tip: Joint Accident/Incident Investigations (JAIs)

Please print and post in your workplace for your fellow Component 5 members.

Your occupational health and safety (OHS) is your union’s priority – during a pandemic and always. This monthly OHS bulletin offers tips to help you prevent and treat injuries on the job. Our focus this month is Joint Accident/Incident Investigations (JAIs). 

What is a Joint Accident/Incident Investigation?

Joint Accident/Incident Investigations (JAI) should be conducted when there is a serious injury, an injury requiring medical treatment, or where there is a minor or no injury but has the potential for causing serious injury.

In such an event, both worker representatives and employer representatives must conduct the investigation together (hence the word “joint”). The investigation is not “joint” when one rep conducts the investigation and asks the other rep to “sign off” on it.

What are the steps to conduct a JAI? 

When conducting a JAI, follow the steps outlined in the “Problem Solving Cycle” and described below.

1.    Is this an OHS issue? Occupational health and safety (OHS) issues are identified in several places: Workers Compensation Act, Occupational Health and Safety regulations, and/or your collective agreement language. If the issue you’ve been asked to investigate is identified in these places, proceed. 

2.    Identify and define the problem: Gather the facts and collect data. Develop the sequence of events. Interview the people involved. Interview any witnesses. Include relevant documents, if applicable. See “Worker Account/Description” and “Basic Timeline of Events” in the Preliminary JAI Form. If you need more room to document the problem, use another sheet of paper.

3.    Determine the causes: Look for multiple causes and don’t forget to look for contributing factors. Consider a) tasks; b) environment; c) material/equipment; d) personnel, such as training, stress, fatigue, and experience; and e) management, such as proper supervision, regular inspections, and hazard correction.

4.    Consider all solutions: Use the Hierarchy of Controls to consider all solutions to the problem. First, seek to eliminate. If elimination is not possible, look at engineering, substitution, administration, and/or PPE. Just as there is potential for multiple causes of the problem, there is potential for multiple solutions.

5.    Send written recommendation to the employer: After sending your JAI report to the employer, ensure that management knows about the incident and all your corrective action(s) and, that your coworkers are informed of the incident (minus names of those involved) and the measures taken. 

The OHS committee is required to follow up in a timely manner on the decisions of your recommendations. The employer needs to provide in writing their decisions, and the reasons for actioning or not actioning, the committee’s recommendations.  

6.    Employer implements solution(s): Assist management, if necessary, to implement measures to prevent similar incidents.  

7.    Evaluation and Follow-up: Ensure you follow up on, and review, all solutions. More than one evaluation and follow-up may need to be done.

Where can I find more information about JAIs?

Information about the “Problem Solving Cycle” can be found on page 19 of your OH&S Government Two Day Participant Kit, Session 7 as introduced during your two-day Joint Occupational Health and Safety (JOHS) Committee training. 

Information regarding the "Hierarchy of Controls" can be found here.

You can also use this bulletin as a resource when conducting a JAI. For easy reference, print and tape it to the back of your clipboard of JAI forms and treat it like a checklist.

Contact your union’s Occupational Health and Safety team at [email protected]

Download the JAI poster for your workplace here