Investigation can be referred to as the act of investigating someone or something in a formal way or through research work and systematic examination. The main aim of investigation is getting all the facts in order to achieve a solution to a situation or complaint (Drupsteen and Guldenmund 2014).
The main objective of this essay is to highlight the investigation methods and the Occupational Health Safety issues associated with the Burketown Queensland, Air crash which occurred today at 10 am. Occupational Health Safety refers to the health, safety and the welfare of people who are involved with some work (Purser and McAllister 2016).
The essay throws light on the OHS issues related to the Air Crash and the risk management, preventive methods and regulations in order to control the hazards. It further discusses the personal preparations to be made before going to the accident scene, the actions to be undertaken, the equipments to be taken along and the investigation skills required.
An air crash occurred in the morning, close to Burketown Queensland, Australia, which departed from Perth for Lenora. The Air traffic control contacted the pilot of the aircraft, whose speech became significantly impaired and as a result he couldn’t respond to and follow the instructions of the official. As an investigator of the accident, it is very important to keep certain things in mind and undertake several preparations (Drupsteen and Guldenmund 2014).
The actions to be undertaken
An investigator must always accomplish his/her task with integrity, impartiality, respect and fairness. He/she needs to be well aware of all the company policies and communicate those to his/her team members. He/she should summarize the whole incident to the team members in a chronological manner. It is important to make a list of all the names associated with the incident, their background and the possible witnesses (Silei 2014).
An investigator must be well aware of the Occupational Health Safety issues in the site where the accident took place. The probable hazards at the accident site are classified into several categories. It can be environmental, biological, physical, psychological and material. Firstly, being an investigator, he/she needs to deal with certain physical hazards like flammable substances, fire, pressurized gases and others. Secondly, contaminated dead bodies can lead to biological hazards. Thirdly, metal oxides, radioactive materials and chemical components of the crashed aircraft can also lead to health hazard (Purser and McAllister 2016).
The investigator must wear fire protective clothes and suits in order to prevent physical hazards. He/she must have self contained respiratory apparatus for breathing as prolonged exposure can cause respiratory issues and skin problems as well. In order to prevent biological hazards, he/she should be fully covered with protective suit, work gloves and latex, goggles, face masks, boot and shoe covers, and have a disposal bag of biological hazards and disinfectants (Quinlan, Hampson and Gregson 2013). Undertaking these measures will help in preventing the virus from entering the body of the investigating personnel. The clothing and personal equipments which are used at the spot should be discarded properly. Portions of skin which are exposed and the equipments must be washed thoroughly with soap and water or with chlorine solution, in order to minimize the risk of health hazard (Moser and Kalton 2017).
Necessary items to be taken
The investigating personnel must be fully equipped when entering any accident sites in order to prevent the probable health hazards. Several precautions must be undertaken such as carrying personal equipments for protection. Equipments like fully covered body protection suit, work gloves and latex, along with face masks and goggles, boot and shoe covers. Accident areas are covered with dead bodies and blood which may result in airborne diseases, therefore covering the face with mask is a must (Jianyong et al. 2012). Carrying disinfectants is necessary, as an investigator can directly come in contact with the dead bodies. Equipments must also include breathing apparatus, full face canister respirators and fire extinguishers. Proper medicines and ointments must be carried the accident spot in order to stay safe from any kind of health issues or skin problems. Camera with recording capability with a memory card, voice recorder, tablet or laptop, flashlight, writing pad and pen, tape measures and other basic things must be carried to the spot (Okstad, Jersin and Tinmannsvik 2012).
An investigator must consider his/her and the team’s safety, by conducting a risk assessment. Firstly, an investigator needs to be well aware of all the company policies and communicate those to his/her team members. Secondly, a complete research work must be done beforehand, regarding the incident. Thirdly, an investigator should be able to identify the goal of an investigation that is carried out, to get the desired results. Along with that, identification of factual and legal issues is important before carrying out the investigation. He/she must not miss out any important piece of evidence. An investigator should have an open mind with an urge to know more and capacity to work in tough conditions (Jianyong et al. 2012).
An investigator must always be well prepared beforehand, so that the investigation can begin without any delay. The longer he/she waits; the situation is more likely to get out of hand. Evidences may get lost or tampered, contaminated or washed away. For example, the marks of the tyre may get washed away. The investigator can request for the data list of the people who are directly or indirectly involved with the incident. Witnesses’ evidence plays a vital role in such kinds of incidents, to establish the investigation. The medical reports of the affected ones can also bring in new facts (Moser and Kalton 2017).
Investigators should always stay prepared to visit an accident spot at a very short notice. They must always keep their bag packed with equipments and personal items so that they can proceed and participate in any kind of investigation. Moreover, they must have strong presence of mind and perseverance, to achieve the goal. The working condition at times, are too risky, therefore personal safety measures must be undertaken. He/she must not hide or conceal facts from his/her team members. An open mind with an urge to know more can help an investigator on a long run. Last but not the least; an investigator must always collect all the important evidences as fast as possible because time is the greatest enemy in such cases.
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