The North P&I Club has issued a loss prevention briefing bulletin, which details all the important and necessary actions and steps to take into consideration when conducting a proper and professional incident investigation. The Club reviews how to conduct an investigation; how to collect and preserve the evidence; how to examine data and how to look for and find probable causes and finally how to use data to identify trends.
In particular, it is noted that, fundamentally, the investigation should establish:
• who was involved
• what happened
• why did it happen
Quite often the first decision to be made is if the investigation is actually needed. If it is to be conducted, it should be initiated as soon as possible, following an incident.
For example, witness statements must be taken as soon as possible, as:
• Memories fade
• People’s versions of events may change after they discuss it with others
• Contemporaneous evidence carries more weight in court law
As for the collection of evidence, the simple process on managing the evidence is:
• Collect: Gather physical or documentary or electronic evidence and witness statements
• Preserve: Ensure evidence remains protected
• Record: Maintain a record of the items of evidence
The main type of evidence is documentary (paper and electronic), while other evidence will depend on the type of the incident.
Regarding the analysis, this is only as good as the information collected. There is no right way to analyze, but the key is to dig deep enough to identify the causes. A common mistake is to identify what is known as the “immediate” cause and go no further.
It is also vital to identify casual factors and preconditions, as the events leading to an incident are rarely simple.
Clcik to download the useful eleven page loss prevention briefing bulletin in full: North-PI-LP-Briefing-Incident-Investigation-2017_03