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Certified Health & Safety Consultant Canadian Red Cross Canadian Society of Safety Engineering
  • Online and Computer Based Training

Accident Investigation (MARCOM) Online Course

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Accident Investigation Course Overview

When accidents happen, it’s important to know why. Even when the reason seems obvious, the real cause may be more complicated. That’s where accident investigation comes in. It examines the incident systematically to determine its true root causes.

This information can then be used to update policies, procedures, or equipment to help prevent a similar accident from occurring in the future.

Areas covered in the program include accidents and near misses, investigations and root cause analysis, the role of tools and equipment, the importance of training, the role procedures play in preventing accidents, learning from accidents and more.

Using a powerful combination of audio, full-motion video, text, and colourful graphics, this course provides the most cost-effective safety and regulatory compliance training available today. The course is divided into logical sections so that information is easily understood and retained.


This online Accident Investigation course covers the following topics:

  • Accidents and Near Misses
  • Investigations and Root Cause Analysis
  • The role of tools and equipment in accidents
  • The importance of training
  • The role procedures play in preventing accidents
  • And more
Accident Investigation Course Online

Accident Investigation Course Duration

Approximately 30 minutes


This course was created using standards that will allow playback on most internet-capable devices with standard web browsing capabilities, including Apple’s iTouch, iPad, and iPhone, as well as most other smartphones and tablets, including those with Android and Windows operating systems.


Testing conducted throughout this online course reinforces the information presented. To pass, you must achieve a mark of 80%.

The course can be taken three times in an effort to achieve a passing mark. Printable resources are available in the form of a comprehensive student manual. The manual is a valuable resource for future use and knowledge retention.


Upon successful completion of this online course, a certificate of completion will be available for download and printing.

Accident Investigation Course Preview

4 Major Stages of Accident Investigation

What are the 4 major stages of the accident investigation? Let’s talk about them:

  1. Preparation: This involves training investigators, assembling proper tools and equipment, and ensuring that they understand relevant laws, procedures, and company policies.
  2. Response: Immediate action after the accident, including securing the scene to preserve evidence and providing first aid or emergency response if necessary.
  3. Fact-Finding: This stage involves gathering information through witness interviews, physical data collection, and document reviews. It also involves analyzing data to determine how the accident happened.
  4. Reporting and Follow-up: Compiling findings into a report that includes facts, conclusions, and recommendations for preventing future accidents. Implement these recommendations and possibly monitor the situation to ensure effectiveness.

7 Steps of Accident Investigation

What are the 7 steps of accident investigation? So let’s discuss those below:

  1. Immediate Response: Ensuring medical care for injured persons and securing the scene.
  2. Plan the Investigation: Organize the team, define the scope, and allocate resources.
  3. Data Collection: Gathering all relevant information, including witness statements, photographs, and physical evidence.
  4. Data Analysis: Identifying the root causes of the accident through methods like root cause analysis.
  5. Developing Conclusions and Recommendations: Based on the analysis, conclusions are drawn about why the accident occurred, and recommendations are made to prevent recurrence.
  6. Report Writing: Document the findings, conclusions, and recommendations in a structured report.
  7. Implementing Changes: Ensuring that recommended changes are put into place and monitoring compliance and effectiveness.

What are the six key questions that should be asked during accident investigations?

During an accident investigation, focusing on the right questions is crucial to uncover the root causes and prevent future incidents.

These are often summarized by the “Five Ws and One H” approach, which can effectively guide the investigative process:

  1. Who was involved?
    • This question helps identify all the individuals directly or indirectly involved in the accident, including any witnesses. Knowing who is involved aids in collecting varied perspectives and detailed accounts of the incident.
  2. What happened?
    • Detailing what exactly occurred during the incident is crucial. This includes the events leading up to the accident, the accident itself, and the immediate aftermath. Understanding what happened helps identify the sequence of events and potential hazards.
  3. Where did it happen?
    • Pinpointing the specific location of the accident helps in understanding possible environmental and spatial factors that might have contributed to the incident. It also aids in recognizing any physical or layout issues that could pose risks.
  4. When did it happen?
    • Knowing the time and date of the accident can be vital, especially if the timing could relate to different shifts, varying operational conditions, or other time-sensitive factors that might influence the risk levels.
  5. Why did it happen?
    • Conducting a root cause analysis to determine the underlying causes of the accident is perhaps the most critical part of the investigation. This involves looking beyond the immediate reasons to uncover systemic issues, procedural failures, or other contributory factors.
  6. How did it happen?
    • Understanding the mechanism of the accident through an examination of how the sequence of events unfolded and how various factors like equipment, environment, and human actions interacted to lead to the incident.

These questions form the backbone of a thorough investigative process, helping to ensure that all relevant factors are considered and addressed. This approach not only aids in pinpointing what went wrong but also forms the basis for developing effective strategies to prevent future incidents.