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It is part of the accident prevention process. All accidents involving personnel injury or property damage must be reported promptly to the chain of command and the safety office.
Persons involved in or aware of an accident will report it immediately to the chain of command. The type of accident investigation and report required depends on two things: determining whether the injury or damage constitutes an Army accident and, if it does, the accident classification.
Preventing accidents and reporting and investigating them when they occur is a chain-of-command responsibility. AR —40 and DA Pam —40 provide information concerning accident reporting and investigation. Generally speaking, all unplanned events that cause injury to Army personnel or damage to Army equipment are Army accidents. However, some events, such as injury and damage caused by combat losses resulting from enemy action, crimes, or suicide are not considered Army accidents.
Army accidents may occur on or off duty, in privately owned vehicles, sports, recreation, at home, or during training or other duty. Complete guidance for determining which accidents are considered Army accidents is contained in AR — Classifying Army accidents There are four classes of Army accidents based upon the severity of the injury or the dollar cost of property damage.
The purpose of classifying the accident is to identify and implement the appropriate notification, investigation, and reporting requirements. Class A accident. Class B accident. Class C accident. Class D accident. Notification procedures a. Telephone numbers and telephonic notification forms are located in AR — No immediate notification to the USASC is required for Class C ground accidents or Class D accidents unless safety-of-use or ground precautionary mes- sage information is identified.
However, all four classes of accidents must be investigated and reported in accordance with AR — Determining who will conduct the safety accident investigation a. Accident classification determines who will investigate an accident. Aviation Class C accidents will be investigated by a board in accordance with AR — Determining what happened is often the easiest part.
The investigator looks at the accident site and collects information from personnel involved in the accident and from witnesses on what caused the accident and the injuries. Accident causes can fall into three broad categories: human, materiel, and environmental factors. The causes could be a combination of any of the three.
Deciding why an accident happened is often the most difficult part of the investigation. Human error accidents, the most common cause, result from one or more of the following system inadequacies. Figure 5—1 is a useful diagram for determining these inadequacies.
For example, the unit tire cage was not properly constructed or the unit does not have a twelve-foot extension for the air hose.
The standard is not clear, practical, or does not exist. When this happens, the command or the Army has not provided adequate stand- ards. For example, the unit SOP requires the use of a tire cage; however, it does not require the use of a twelve-foot air hose extension. Training standards exist, but the soldier has not been ade- quately trained to standard.
For example, an individual had never had training on how to service split rims and did not know that a tire cage and air hose extension were required for inflation.
The standard is known but is not enforced. For example, a leader sees an unqualified individual in the motor pool changing the tire and does not take immediate corrective action. The standard is known but is not followed by the soldier. The soldier has been properly trained and knows the correct procedures but chooses not to follow them.
For example, the soldier knows there is a requirement to be certified on servicing tires; and, although not certified, the soldier attempts to service the tire anyway and does not wait for maintenance personnel.
The investigation process is not complete until recommendations are developed on how to prevent a similar accident from happening. When the causes of the accident and their systemic inadequacies have been identified, specific recommenda- tions must be developed.
To be effective, they must be targeted at the level of command most responsible for correcting the deficiency: unit-level, higher-level, or Department of the Army-level. Then, a system to ensure that recommendations are implemented closes the loop. The accident report a. Valid and reliable accident reports may lead to a change in equipment design, development of new standards, or modifications to existing training.
Injuries were occurring as runners slid into bases that were fixed in place. A program was established to replace fixed bases with breakaway bases. The installation of these breakaway bases has significantly reduced this type of injury. Many other accident reports involving aircraft, tanks, and other equip- ment have resulted in design changes and operational manual changes.
Use of the information from accident reports saves lives, saves millions of Army dollars, and increases mission capability.
The Army accident prevention program, therefore, depends on thorough acci- dent investigations and accurate and complete accident reports, using the appropriate forms prescribed in AR —40 and DA PAM — DA PAM —40 contains instructions, blank forms, and completed sample reports.
Release of accident reports and information Accident information, reports, and records may be used only for accident prevention purposes. This information should not be released to anyone for any other purpose. Chapter 6.
da pam 385-40 - accident investigation & reporting