Accident Investigations

Incident and accidents are reported and investigated in order to prevent similar situations from recurring. Investigations should never seek to assign blame.

To meet WorkSafeBC and University requirements, UBC Departments must report and investigate any incident or accident that resulted in:

  • a death or critical condition with a serious risk of death
  • a work related injury requiring treatment by a medical practitioner
  • a time loss injury
  • an occupational disease or allegations of an occupational disease
  • a major structural failure or collapse
  • major release of a toxic or hazardous substance; or
  • a near miss (did not result in an injury but had the potential for causing serious injury)

Note: The accident investigation report (Section 4 of the UBC Faculty and Staff Incident/Accident Report) (PDF) must be submitted to Health Promotion Programs within 72 hours.

Investigation Details

Occupational accidents are investigated for the following reasons: to fulfill legal requirements; to determine the cause of accidents; to ascertain compliance with applicable regulations; and to determine what happened and why, so that steps can be taken to prevent a recurrence.

Investigations must be completed for every incident involving injury or exposure to hazardous materials, life-threatening injuries, damage to equipment and property, all fires and explosions.

The administrative head of unit is responsible for ensuring that all incidents and accidents are reported to Health Promotion Programs, that accident investigations are conducted and that hazards are corrected.

They must also ensure that those participating in accident investigations receive adequate training whether in-house or through the Health Promotion Programs courses.

It is the responsibility of supervisory staff to report and investigate any accidents, incidents or personal security concerns that have occurred in their area of responsibility and to report any accidents to  Health Promotion Programs.

The administrative head of unit and Health Promotion Programs shall review copies of accident investigations. Based on the investigation, appropriate corrective action must be taken to prevent recurrence.

Local Safety Committees should participate in accident investigations. If feasible, one worker representative and one employer representative should be involved in each investigation. Appropriate experts and/or staff from Health Promotion Programs, if warranted, may also be included in an accident investigation.