Understanding the investigational terminology of accident and incident/Health and safety

    This guide will include a few important terms, phrases and definitions on a regular basis which is important with interview point of view as well as investigating an accident and incident in the workplace.

    Adverse Event:

    An ‘adverse event include accident and incident.


    An accident is an occurrence that results in injury or illness.


    Near miss: An occurrence that, while not causing harm, has the potential to cause an injury or ill health.

    Near Miss

    Undesired circumstance: a set of conditions or circumstances that could cause serious harm or illness.

    For example: inexperienced nurses dealing with heavy, weighty patients.

    Dangerous occurrences:

    One of many particular, reportable adverse occurrences is a dangerous occurrence.

    as defined under the (RIDDOR) Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

    Hazard: The potential for harm, such as illness or injury; damage to property, plant, products, or the environment, production losses, or an increase in production costs.

    Immediate cause: The most obvious reason for a negative event, such as

    The guard has gone missing; the employee has slipped, and so on. There could be a number of immediate causes.


    Fatal: death as a result of one’s labour;

    (as described in RIDDOR, Schedule 1), serious injury/ill health, including fractures

    Amputations, loss of sight, a burn, or penetrating wounds (other than fingers and toes)

    Any injury to the eye, as well as any injury or acute sickness that causes unconsciousness, necessitates immediate medical attention.

    requiring resuscitation or hospitalisation for more than 24 hours;

    Serious injury/Ill health: When a person is seriously injured or unwell, they cannot perform their job.

    more than three days of usual work in a row;

    Minor Injury: All other injuries that render the wounded individual unsuited for their typical activities are mild injuries.

    job for no more than three days;

    Damage only: Damage to property, equipment, the environment, or productivity is the only type of damage.

    loses. (Only events with the potential to cause harm are addressed in this guidance.)

    to individuals.)

    Likelihood/Probability of a recurrence of a negative event:

    Certain: It will happen again, and it will happen soon;

    Likely: It will most likely happen again, but not on a regular basis.

    Possible: It could happen from time to time.

    Unlikely: It is unlikely that it will happen again in the near future;

    Rare: It’s so uncommon that it’s unlikely to happen again.

    Risk: The amount of risk is determined by a combination of the chance of a negative outcome and the probability of a positive outcome.

    occurrence of a certain unfavourable event and the severity of the repercussions

    (For example, how often is it likely to happen, how many individuals might be affected, and how long will it take?

    What kind of injuries or health consequences would be likely?)

    Risk control measures: have precautions been put in place at work to decrease the risk of injury?

    A reasonable degree of risk?

    Root cause: The root cause is a starting event or failure that leads to all subsequent causes or failures.

    Spring. Management, planning, and organisational failures are the most common root causes.

    Underlying cause: The underlying cause of an incident is the less obvious system or ‘organizational’ factor.

    a negative event occurs, such as the failure to do pre-start-up machinery checks

    supervisors; the risk has not been appropriately considered through a suitable and
    sufficient risk assessment; production pressures are too great etc.

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