Accident/Incident Reporting & Investigation (for Supervisors)

Supervisors are responsible to report and investigate all accidents/incidents involving involving UBC workers (faculty, staff & student workers) or practicum students, and to submit a Preliminary Investigation Report within 48 hours (2 days) and complete a Full Investigation Report within 30 days.

If you are from the UBC Okanagan campus, please follow the procedures and report through UBCO Health, Safety and Environment.


Supervisor Responsibilities for Worker Safety & Accident/Incident Reporting

What is a supervisor?

A supervisor is a person who instructs, directs and controls workers/staff in the performance of their duties (Occupational Health & Safety Regulation Part 1).

Therefore, any individual who assigns work activities is referred to as a supervisor by WorkSafeBC (even if it is not in your job title). This includes faculty members who hire research assistants or supervise student workers (including work learn students).

As a supervisor you are responsible for the safety of workers/staff under your supervision.

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What is the supervisors role if an accident/incident occurs?

If an injury occurs to a UBC worker (faculty, staff, paid student or practicum student), the supervisor must ensure that:

  1. The worker receives attention for any injuries;
  2. The worker reports the accident/incident (Person involved in Incident Report) through the UBC Centralized Accident/Incident Reporting System (CAIRS). If the worker has not been able to start the process, the supervisor should initiate the CAIRS supervisor report immediately;
  3. The injured worker’s report is reviewed and immediately conduct an accident/incident investigation;
  4. Corrective actions are undertaken to remove or mitigate the future risk for injury.

Note: It is against the law to discourage or not report an injury or accident that has occurred in your workplace.

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How do I know if my staff are covered by WorkSafeBC?

Not everyone at UBC is covered by WorkSafeBC. Below is a list of people who are and are not covered through WorkSafeBC:

Covered by WorkSafeBC

  • UBC Staff;
  • UBC Faculty;
  • Paid students;
  • Practicum/Clinical Placement Students.

Not covered by WorkSafeBC

  • Unpaid UBC Students;
  • Visitors;
  • Residents;
  • Contractors.

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What is the supervisors responsibility if a worker is injured?

If the worker has been injured, ensure that the following steps have be taken:

  1. If the injury is serious and has a risk of being fatal, call 911 immediately!;
  2. Contact your local first aid attendant or the UBC Vancouver campus mobile first aid at 604-822-4444;
  3. After the injuries have been attended, ensure that the worker follows the steps to report the accident/incident.

Note: UBC workplaces outside the Vancouver campus must have their own first aid procedures. As a supervisor you are required to ensure that workers know the procedures for obtaining first aid if they are at a location outside of the Vancouver campus.

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What is the supervisors responsibility to ensure that an accident/incident has been reported?

To report the accident/incident, the supervisor must undertake the following steps:

  1. If applicable, ensure that your upper management has been notified;
  2. Ensure that the injured/ill workers has filled out the accident incident report at UBC CAIRS (Person Involved in Incident Report). If the worker has not been able to start the process, the supervisor must initiate the UBC CAIRS supervisor report immediately.
  3. Once completed, the supervisor will receive an email notification with a link to complete the accident/incident investigation and required employment information;
  4. If worker immediately departed the workplace to seek medical attention and missed time from work as a result of a work-related injury/illness, advise that they can start a WCB claim by calling the WorkSafeBC Teleclaim Contact Centre at 1.888.WORKERS (1.888.967.5377). A incident/accident report must also be filled out at UBC CAIRS (Person Involved in Incident Report).

Determine if the accident/incident must be immediately reported to WorkSafeBC

If the accident/incident falls within any of the categories below:

  • Results in serious injury to or the death of a worker;
  • Involves a major structural failure or collapse of a building, bridge, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system or excavation
  • Involves the major release of a hazardous substance;
  • Involves a fire or explosion that had potential for causing serious injury to a worker;
  • Is an incident required by the regulation to be reported.

Contact SRS immediately so that can work with you to report the accident/incident to WorkSafeBC. If the incident falls within any of the above categories and occurs during weekday working hours, contact SRS at 604-822-2029.

If you can’t reach SRS or the incident occurs outside of working hours, on weekends, or holidays, contact Campus Security (604-822-2222) to report and ask them to immediately page the on-call SRS resource.

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Supervisor Responsibilities for Accident/Incident Investigations

Why do I need to investigate?

An accident/incident investigation identifies any unsafe conditions, acts, or procedures that may have contributed to the injury/illness to the worker and prevents others from being injured in the same manner. Conducting an accident/incident investigation is required by Provincial Legislation through WorkSafeBC.

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Who completes the investigation?

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to conduct the investigation. There are various resources to assist with the investigation process, however as a supervisor, you have the knowledge, skill and ability to make changes in the workplace to rectify the hazards.

You can also get assistance from:

  • A worker representative and/or a member of the Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) and/or Local Safety Team (LST) who should also participate in the accident investigation.
  • Subject matter experts in Safety & Risk Services and across the university can assist, provide guidance and resources to ensure the investigation is thorough and meets the all regulatory requirements.

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What steps are required for the supervisor to investigate an accident/incident?

There are two steps that must be followed during an accident/incident investigation: Preliminary Investigation Report; and Full Investigation Report.

Resources to assist with the incident investigation steps:

Preliminary Investigation and Corrective Actions

The preliminary investigation and corrective actions must be completed within 48 hours after the incident. It helps to ensure that work in the accident/incident area can continue and be done safely during the interim period between the incident and the conclusion of the full investigation.

  1. If reasonably available, seek assistance from a worker representative from the Local Safety Team (LST), Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee (JOHSC) or a worker familiar with the type of work that is performed by the injured worker (not a supervisor);
  2. Visit the accident/incident site;
  3. Interview the injured worker;
    • Identify significant events that led up to the incident;
    • Include relevant events that followed the incident, such as first aid;
    • Include dates and time, if possible.
    • Don’t include things that should have happened but did not (for example, worker did not use hand rail);
    • Analyze the sequence of events and ask why each event happened;
    • Describe any unsafe conditions, acts, or procedures;
    • Consider possible problems such as training, equipment maintenance, standard work procedures and environmental conditions.
  4. Interview the any witnesses;
  5. Develop interim corrective actions to ensure the accident scene is safe and the hazard has been properly mitigated or removed.
    • Describe the corrective action required and identify the person responsible and the date for completion.
    • Work cannot resume in the accident/incident area unless steps have been completed to mitigate or remove the hazard.
  6. If the entire investigation and corrective actions have been completed during the preliminary investigation, a full investigation is not required (the preliminary investigation will be submitted to WorkSafeBC as your full investigation 30 days after the date of occurrence).

Full Investigation and Corrective Actions

The full investigation and corrective actions must be completed within 30 days after the incident. In the full investigation, you must determine the causes of the incident. These causes could include underlying problems with supervision, training, preventative maintenance, or other management systems.

The full investigation shall reveal the cause(s) of the incident investigated, identify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures that significantly contributed to the incident.

  1. Follow the steps listed under the preliminary investigation and corrective actions section above
  2. Determine and implement all corrective actions to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.
  3. Where this cannot be completed within 30 days of the incident, contact Safety & Risk Services at 604-822-2029 to assist with requesting an extension from WorkSafeBC. You will be asked to submit a plan with projected completion dates.

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How do I get trained to perform an accident/incident investigation?

The Safety Supervision at UBC is designed to introduce personnel to the UBC CAIRS as well as educate and train the individual on why investigations are important, when and what to investigate and most importantly how to investigate. The course takes approximately 30 min and requires a minimum 80% passing grade.

For additional in-person incident investigation practical training options, please contact Safety & Risk Services at 604-822-2029. Examples of training services provided are, but not limited to:

  • Practical incident investigation and CAIRS documentation
  • Incident investigation reviews
  • CAIRS Workshops

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