Retailers and loss prevention leaders bear the responsibility of keeping workers safe. Part of that responsibility is ensuring that changing retail operations (such as the addition of automated machinery) don’t cause a spike in the number of safety hazards. Injuries resulting from human-machine interactions are not always the fault of the worker; sometimes, they’re caused by mismanagement of the automated resources, for example. When injury events do happen, then, they can pose significant challenges to those tasked with conducting the subsequent investigation.
LPM Senior Writer Garett Seivold probes into the specific challenges brought about by a workplace injury investigation, especially in the face of changing retail operations, in a feature article for the December 2018 issue of LPM Online. In the article, Seivold offers six best practices for these types of investigations:
1. Begin by adopting the “local rationality principle.” That is, start with a mindset that—at the time of the accident under investigation—workers were probably doing reasonable things given their point of view, their available knowledge, their objectives, and their available resources.
2. Identify “shiftmarkers.” There is often a point in events leading to an accident where a worker realizes that the situation is different from what they believed it to be previously. These shifts are markers that investigators should focus on to understand what was unfolding around workers that they may have been responding to.
Check out the full article, “As Retail Operations Change, Injury Prevention Must Too,” for a deeper look at investigation challenges and four other helpful tips for conducting a workplace injury investigation.
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