Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
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Scope and Purpose

1.1 General
This Standard provides a framework for the collection and analysis of information about accidents, incidents, and harmful exposures. All accidents, whether or not they result in injury, are within the scope of this Standard. While the Standard provides the starting point for the statistical analysis of sets of accidents, it does not deal with the development of classification systems and related databases which would be necessary for such analyses.

1.2 Purpose
The purpose of this Standard is to facilitate the identification of effective prevention strategies. It provides a framework for the consistent, reliable collection and investigation of information about factors contributing to accidents and harmful exposures in the workplace.

This Standard can be used for the investigation of a single accident. (The collection of information about single accidents may, in turn, provide the foundation for the development of classification systems and related databases about accidents over time.)

1.3 Focus
The focus of this Standard is effective collection of information about an accident, incident, or harmful exposure. To achieve this, the Standard adopts an accident information model that focuses on what led to the event, rather than on the result of the event. This model goes well beyond the immediate causes of the injury. It encompasses information about factors associated with the events leading up to the event that resulted in, or might have resulted in, an injury.

It is important to note that the collection of accident /incident information focuses on fact-finding, not fault-finding.

Specifically, this Standard
(a) establishes a framework for investigating accidents, incidents, and harmful exposures;
(b) establishes a framework for the consistent collection and recording of accident information;
(c) sets out guidelines to assist users with the analysis and evaluation of accident information;
(d) provides guidelines for the use of accident information in prevention programmes; and
(e) facilitates the collection of accident information that can be used as the basis of studies.

Figure 1 illustrates an accident information cycle and the relationship of accident information to prevention strategies.

1.4 Limitations
This Standard deals with information about the factors contributing to, or which underlie, accidents, incidents, exposures, or possible exposures that result, or could result, in injury or disease. It does not provide a classification or a coding structure. The framework and the guidance provided in the Standard are flexible, to enable it to be adapted to the specific circumstances of individual workplaces or particular industries.

This Standard is most directly applicable to acute accidents in which it is clear that the injury was related to work and in which the energy transfer that resulted in the injury can be readily identified. For cases in which these conditions are not satisfied, epidemiological research may be required to identify contributory factors. This may be the case, for example, with occupational diseases and illnesses that involve latency periods. However, the results of epidemiological research could be applied to and used for the accident information model in this Standard. To some extent, the model may be less applicable to cumulative trauma cases and occupational diseases in which the injury or harm results from exposure over time and for which special tools, such as ergonomic workstation analysis and ergonomic task analysis, may need to be applied in the final instance.

This Standard does not deal in detail with the development and use of databases for the purpose of analyzing information from multiple accidents, nor does it provide a hierarchical coding structure. However, adherence to the Standard will provide organizations with a foundation for the development of comprehensive databases.

1.5 Links to Other Standards
This Standard is designed to complement the information collected, coded, and classified in accordance with CSA Standard Z795. For example, information coded according to CSA Standard Z795 can be analyzed and used to identify problem areas, which can be further studied using the guidelines and accident information procedures outlined in this Standard.

1.6 Use of the Standard
This Standard may be used by persons or organizations who need information about actual or potential workplace accidents resulting in injury or disease. They may use it to identify trends, to estimate the size of problems, or to identify specific targets for prevention strategies. In addition, this Standard can be used to conduct special studies of certain types of workplaces or industries.

Workers' Compensation Boards (WCBs) and OSH Regulators may also use this Standard, in conjunction with CSA Standard Z795, for conducting special studies of industry groups, since detailed checklists of the topics suggested in this Standard need to be prepared by particular workplaces or industries. WCBs and OSH Regulatory Agencies may also wish to consider collecting some of the suggested items, on a more general level, when accidents are reported to them.

All or parts of this Standard may be used by
(a) employers;
(b) design engineers;
(c) trade/labour unions;
(d) industry associations;
(e) labour federations;
(f) researchers;
(g) occupational health and safety professionals and organizations;
(h) workers' compensation boards/organizations;
(i) injured workers' groups;
(j) government - OSH regulators and other agencies and departments;
(k) Joint Health and Safety Committees and/or health and safety representatives;
(l) insurers;
(m) educators;
(n) suppliers and manufacturers of safety equipment; and
(o) standards developers.

Table 1 provides examples of possible users of and uses for this Standard.