May 18, 2009 | Mark Paradies

How Do You Collect Evidence for an Incident Investigation?

The New York Times reports that after an accident that killed 25 people and injured 130 more, the Metrolink Board of Directors has voted to authorize $975,000 to install hidden video cameras on Metrolink commuter trains.

Last year train engineer Robert Sanchez ran a “red light” and hit an oncoming Union Pacific freight train. He was “texting” when he should have been driving the train.

Now Metrolink wants better forensic evidence to perform better investigations of accidents, incidents, and near-misses. The new cameras are a step in that direction.

What do you do to make incident investigation evidence collection and interviewing better? Have you thought about this important piece of an accident/incident investigation?

DanaTeaching.jpg If you are interested in techniques to gather evidence and perform better interviews, you should consider attending the special, pre-Summit course titled:

How to Interview and Gather Evidence

It will be held on October 5-6 in Nashville, TN.

Also, if you are interested in improving your incident investigations, consider attending the Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Track at the TapRooT® Summit in Nashville on October 7-9.

What will you learn?

First, you will see three accident presentations that will help you learn best practices from the presenters (including how to investigate multiple accidents to learn generic lessons).

Second, hear two best practice investigations from TapRooT® Users. Dennis Ward, from the Alaska Medallion Foundation, will share his experience using TapRooT® to find common causes of aviation accidents. Next, Ron Pryor of Alcoa will explain how TapRooT® was used in a Kaizen project to improve product quality.

vincent.jpg Third, Vincent Phipps, communication expert, will discuss how to use communication skills when investigating an accident. His presentation will include:

  • 3 rules for improving investigation questions,
  • who to get someone to share more information, and
  • how to confirm understanding.

Fourth, learn if your investigation system is “The Good, The Bad, or The Ugly” and what you can do to improve it.

Fifth, attend the one-and-only session where TapRooT® Users share their best ideas … the TapRooT® User Best Practice Sharing Forum. You will participate in a session that is always rated as one of the most helpful to TapRooT® Users who are looking for innovative ways to make investigations more efficient and effective.

Sixth, learn how to use new, free on-line software to evaluate if fatigue was a cause of a human error. Bill Sirois, COO of Circadian Technologies will share this important, innovative software.

Seventh, learn new ideas for defining Causal Factors from Ken Turnbull, an experienced investigator and TapRooT® Instructor.

Eighth, Steve Hawkins, a very experience fatality investigator who is the Assistant Director of Tennessee OSHA, share the lessons he has learned in many investigation.

You will find that these sessions aren’t boring and dry. Instead, they are packed with ideas that you can use to make your investigations more effective and more efficient.

But these sessions are NOT the whole Summit.


There are five Keynote Talks that will provide even more information and motivation.

Networking04.jpg There are other Tracks that you can pick from to make your own custom Summit experience.

There are networking and social events to make the Summit fun and to help you add to your list of industry contacts.

Want more info? see this list of “frequently asked questions” …

Click here to see the Summit brochure.

So, if performing world-class accident/incident investigations to prevent future accidents is business critical to your company, I look forward to seeing you there!

Show Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *