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​Section 818: Occupational Health and Safety - Incident Reporting and Investigation (IRI)

Date issued: 01/02/2012
Revision date: 12/20/2019

Purpose                 
This policy provides a standardized requirement for incident reporting and investigation that captures information for the employer to implement corrective actions and identify trends and issues in order to be proactive in preventing injury.

Policy Statement
The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellness of employees through incident prevention. Ministries shall report and investigate all incidents in an effort to eliminate, or control, hazards in the workplace.

Principles
This policy is based on the following principles:
  • Promote timely reporting of all incidents; 
  • Conduct an investigation of each incident; and
  • Identify causes and implement corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence.

Application
This policy applies to all workplaces of Executive Government where any person could be injured.
This policy applies to all employees of Executive Government including individuals hired as employees under contract.
 
Responsibilities
Every employee is responsible for health, safety and wellness in the workplace within their level of authority.
 
Permanent Heads have the ultimate accountability for ensuring occupational health and safety legislated requirements are met within their respective ministry, and are responsible for:

  • ensuring knowledge transfer of this policy to all employees;
  • designating and maintaining a Central Incident Resource;
  • being aware of the type and nature of every incident that occurs in their ministry;
  • ensuring decisions and follow up actions are implemented effectively; and
  • holding supervisors accountable for carrying out their responsibilities and adherence to this policy.

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • ensuring the health and safety of employees and others, within their level of authority and area of operational responsibility;
  • ensuring employees within their level of authority receive training on this policy and that they have read, understand and comply with policy; and
  • reporting incidents, initiating incident investigations and completing corrective actions.

Employees are responsible for:

  • ensuring their personal health, safety and wellness, and that of others in the workplace;
  • participating in training and complying with this policy; and
  • reporting incidents and collaborating in incident investigations.

Incident Investigation Teams are responsible for:

  • mobilizing as requested; and
  • investigating incidents, and completing and submitting a report in a timely manner. 

Central Incident Resources are responsible for:

  • supporting ministry incident reporting, investigation and statistical reporting. 

NOTE: Ministries may determine additional roles and responsibilities as needed.

Incident Reporting
All incidents shall be documented on Incident Reporting and Investigation Form 101, and distributed as required by applicable process. 

The Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety (LRWS), Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Division, shall be notified of incidents as prescribed in The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996, (OHS Regulations), Section 8, "Accidents causing serious bodily injury"; and Section 9, "Dangerous occurrences". The appropriate supervisor will consult with internal resources, and follow applicable ministry process.

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) forms (e.g. WCB W1 Worker and WCB E1 Employer), "Stay at or Return to Work" Form 111 and other related forms will be completed as required.

Refer to policy appendices for detailed requirements.
 
Incident Investigations
All incidents must be initially investigated by the employee's appropriate supervisor.

A more in-depth investigation will be conducted for incidents involving a serious bodily injury/fatality or dangerous occurrence incident, such as those that caused or could have caused the death of a worker or that requires a worker to be admitted to a hospital as an in-patient (refer to OHS Regulations, Sections 8, 9, 29, and 31). These incidents must also be reported to the Ministry of LRWS's OHS Division.

An Incident Investigation Team will be mobilized by the appropriate supervisor to conduct investigations as necessary, and submit an investigation report that includes recommendations for corrective actions.
Refer to policy appendices for detailed requirements.

NOTE: Ministries may conduct other investigations as needed. There are additional sections in the OHS regulations where an investigation may be required. Consult your supervisor, local Occupational Health Committee (OHC), ministry safety professional or the OHS Division at the Ministry of LRWS for clarification.

Forms and Statistics
The Central Incident Resource will administer completed incident reports and report incident statistics to the permanent head of their respective ministry, and for Executive Government.

Statistics and investigation records shall be safeguarded, maintained and communicated as per applicable privacy legislation, and retained as per Administrative Records Management System (ARMS) and Operational Records System (ORS).

Training
All employees shall participate in Incident Reporting and Investigation policy training [1]. Policy training is knowledge transfer at a level appropriate to an employee's level of authority and responsibility in order to effectively comply with this policy. Written records of training must be maintained.

All employees who perform incident investigations shall obtain training on how to conduct investigations [2].

All employees who direct the work activities of others shall obtain training on their obligations, roles, responsibilities and duties under OHS legislation. This training can be achieved through the Supervision and Safety Workshop, Managing Safely or other alternatives [3].

Authority
The Saskatchewan Employment Act, 2013
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996
The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013
The Public Service Act, 1998
The Health Information Protection Act, 1999
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1992
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, 1979
The Archives and Public Records Management Act, 2015

Definitions

Central Incident ResourceAn employee designated by the permanent head to support and administer ministry incident reporting, investigation and statistical reporting processes.
Damage to Equipment/PropertyAny damage or loss to equipment or property.
Dangerous OccurrenceAny incident that does not result in, but could have resulted in, a fatality or serious bodily injury (OHS Regulations, Section 9).
Employee

An individual, including a supervisor, who is appointed to a position or service of Executive Government (source: Public Service Act).

An individual, including a supervisor; who is engaged in the service of an employer; or a member of a prescribed category of individuals (source: SEA - Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996).

IncidentAn event that causes or may cause injury.  Types of incidents include: 1) Injury; 2) Serious Bodily Injury/Fatality/Hospitalization (OHS Regulations, section 8); 3) Near Miss; 4) Dangerous Occurrence (OHS regulations, Section 9); and, 5) Damage to Equipment/Property.

Incident Causes

 

 

Causes of an incident must be identified during an investigation in order to implement effective corrective actions. There are often multiple causes at different levels including:
  • Direct cause - what occured immediately before the incident.
  • Indirect causes - the sub-standard acts, procedures and/or conditions that lead to the incident occurring, and answer "how" the incident happened.
  • Root cause - the broader or systemic underlying causes that led to the incident.
Incident Investigation TeamEmployees or external resources that are designated by the appropriate supervisor to investigate incidents. These resources could include OHC Co-Chairs or other OHC members/OHS representatives where legislated to participate.  Other team members may include the supervisor, ministry safety professionals, external specialists, and/or employees with technical or operational expertise pertinent to the incident.
InjuryInjury includes any disease or impairment of physical or mental condition [OHS Regulations, Section 2(2)]. Injuries can occur immediately from an incident, or develop over time after ongoing exposure, such as to hazardous materials leading to illness, repetitive movements leading to strain, etc.
Near MissAn unplanned event that did not result in an injury or damage but had the potential to do so. Another familiar term is "close call".
Serious Bodily InjuryAn incident that causes or may cause the death of a worker; or will require a worker to be admitted to a hospital as an in-patient for a period of 72 hours or more (OHS Regulations, Section 8).
SupervisorAn employee of Executive Government who is authorized by the permanent head to oversee and/or direct the work of others. There are varying levels of supervisory authority (e.g. Assistant Deputy Minister, Executive Director, Director, Manager, Supervisor, front-line in-charge employees, etc.).
WorkplaceMeans an area at a place of employment where a worker works or is required or permitted to be present.


Resources and Tools
Appendix A – Incident Reporting and Investigation Flowchart
Appendix B – Incident Reporting and Investigation Procedures
Appendix C – Incident Reporting and Investigation Form 101
Appendix D – Incident Investigation Report Template
Appendix E – Incident Investigation Corrective Action Plan
Appendix F – Indirect and Root Cause Reference Guide

Key sections of the OHS regulations related to incident investigation and reporting include:

  • Section 8   Accidents (incidents) causing serious bodily injury
  • Section 9   Dangerous occurrences
  • Section 29 Investigation of certain accidents (incidents)
  • Section 31 Investigation of dangerous occurrences

Refer to the OHS regulations for specific requirements.
"Stay At or Return to Work" Form 111
Incident Reporting Policy course – LEARN
Incident Reporting and Investigation Application (IRI App) – PSC Client

Policy Inquiries
Public Service Commission, Integrated Health, Safety and Wellness Branch

Footnotes
[1] Participation in Incident Reporting Policy Training through Learn, or policy training through ministry specific processes meets the requirement. All completed training must be tracked in Learn.
[2] Participation in OHC Level II, the Workplace Incident Investigation Course through WorkSafe Sask, or equivalent training, meets the requirement for incident investigation training.
[3] The Supervision and Safety Workshop can be obtained through WorkSafe Sask, and Managing Safely through Learn.

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If you have any questions or require more information please contact:

HR Service Centre

hrsc@gov.sk.ca

Phone: 1-877-852-5808 or 306-798-0000

Fax: 1-877-852-9219 or 306-798-9966

HR Service Centre Fax Cover Sheet

2100 Broad Street, Regina, SK, S4P 1Y5

 

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