2.11 Incident Investigation
29 CFR 1910.119 (m)
The employer shall investigate each incident which resulted in, or could reasonably have resulted in a
catastrophic release of highly hazardous chemical in the workplace.
An incident investigation shall be initiated as promptly as possible, but not later than 48 hours following
An incident investigation team shall be established and consist of at least one person knowledgeable in
the process involved, including a contract employee if the incident involved work of the contractor, and
other persons with appropriate knowledge and experience to thoroughly investigate and analyze the
A report shall be prepared at the conclusion of the investigation which includes at a minimum:
Date of incident;
Date investigation began;
A description of the incident;
The factors that contributed to the incident; and,
Any recommendations resulting from the investigation.
The employer shall establish a system to promptly address and resolve the incident report findings and
recommendations. Resolutions and corrective actions shall be documented.
The report shall be reviewed with all affected personnel whose job task
are relevant to the incident findings including contract employees where applicable.
Incident investigation reports shall be retained for five years.
The purpose of incident investigation is to prevent recurrence of incidents having the same
nature or the root cause. Every incident that results in or could reasonably result in a catastrophic
chemical release must be investigated. The PSM Rule defines catastrophic as "a major,
uncontrolled emission, fire, or explosion, involving one or more HHCs, that present a serious
danger to employees in the workplace" [Q87].
The incident investigation team's recommendations are to be implemented unless it can be
documented that an alternative will address the concerns at least as effectively and efficiently.
Management may reject recommendations that are erroneous, infeasible, or more costly or
complex than a equally protective measure.
Corresponding DOE Programs and Requirements
DOE incident investigations are addressed in DOE O 225.1A, ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION
and DOE M 231.1-2, OCCURRENCE REPORTING AND PROCESSING OF OPERATIONS
INFORMATION. The Accident/Incident Reporting System and the Occurrence Reporting and
Processing System within DOE meet the intent of the incident investigation element of the PSM
Rule. Additional DOE guidance is provided in DOE G 231.1-1, OCCURRENCE REPORTING
AND PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS GUIDE and DOE G 231.1-2, OCCURRENCE
REPORTING CAUSAL ANALYSIS GUIDE.