Accident Reporting and Investigation
Accident records are necessary aids for prevention of accidents. They provide us information about the categories of accidents most frequently encountered where they occur and their relative severity. A study of these records reveals general hazards and leads to a better understanding of the causes of accidents and most effective methods of preventing them.
All accidents should be promptly reported, whether they result in injury or not. Many injury-free accidents, that are not reported, recur with serious injuries. All accidents to the public involving company personnel, equipment or property should also be reported promptly. You have learnt about Rule 44A of the Indian Electricity Rules, 1956 pertaining to the intimation of an accident. It is stated again in the margin for ready reference.
As per the rule the report should be submitted in a prescribed form. You must understand that the occurrence of electrical accident has to be reported with all seriousness: It helps in ascertaining the causes of electrical accidents. Besides, immediate steps can also be taken for administering first-aid, medical attendance, preserving the evidence, etc. A thorough review could be completed on how the accident occurred, pinpoint lapses and fix responsibilities. Measures can then be taken so that it does not recur.
Of course, it needs to be ensured that the remedial measures are implemented properly.
For breach of Rule 44A, there is penalty under Rule 138A of I.E. Rules, 1956 under that if any person responsible for the generation, transmission, transformation, conversion, distribution, supply or use of energy fails to report to the Inspector and other authorities concerned, the occurrence of the accidents, s/he should be punishable.
Every accident should be investigated to determine the cause and the steps needed to prevent its recurrence. It should be the responsibility of the person in charge of the work to get complete details of the accident as soon as possible after it occurs. Depending upon the seriousness of the accident, apart from any statutory investigation of the accident, the management may like to have internal investigation conducted for the following purposes:
1 arriving at factual information leading to corrective action;
2 fact finding and not fault finding;
3 identification of principal source of accident;
4 indicating the need for engineering revision in various types of equipment and materials; and
5 Disclosure of inefficiencies in operating processes and procedures.
However, it must be ensured that the investigating individual should not be involved with any disciplinary proceedings.