Singapore University of Social Sciences

Incident and Accident Investigation

Incident and Accident Investigation (HFS353)


In the workplace environments that exist today in modern industry, events occur that injure people, damage property, and create chaos. Added to these events, there are innumerable others that often seem innocuous but have the potential to create even more mayhem. This Course examines how we react to these events from legal, social, technical, and behavioural standpoints. The Course focuses its attention on the modern accepted standpoint that our prime response to these events should be to increase our knowledge of what caused the incident and from this to look at how we can protect ourselves and others in the future. This focus will integrate incident and injury investigation into an aspect of modern behavioural Safety Systems, and transform it from a responsive reaction into a proactive contribution. The course will work sequentially through the process of incident and injury investigation starting with how we prepare ourselves before the event. We will examine tools and methods we might use to collect and analyse data, and will explore how to draw conclusions and offer recommendations from this data, within the structure of a formal incident report. Finally we will move beyond the report into how to influence people to take action from the report and so change our future using our new knowledge. The aim of the course is to equip the student with the knowledge, skills, competence, and confidence to create and use an Incident and Injury Report within the normal range of events that occurs in today’s industrial companies.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY


  • Study Unit 1 - The Primary Focus
  • Study Unit 2 - The Big Picture Approach
  • Study Unit 3 - Preparation
  • Study Unit 4 - Analysis
  • Study Unit 5 - The Investigation Report
  • Study Unit 6 - Now What?

Learning Outcome

  • Illustrate the purpose of incident and injury investigations and assess its suitability for use in a modern industrial environment.
  • Indicate other resources and expertise that may need to be involved to conduct an investigation within the scale and scope presented by the incident.
  • Analyse the potential that exists for incident and injury investigation within the behavioural safety systems that operate today in companies up to including world-class safety performance.
  • Examine the necessary preparations to deal with an incident and injury investigation that would manage an incident up to and including several fatalities and /or major property damage.
  • Compose and prioritise recommendations from the incident analysis that are founded on scientific fact.
  • Create a structured incident report following the format explored in the course: a) that conforms to the legal requirements of Singapore, b) where cause and effect are linked, and c) that details what gains management could expect from action.
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