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Investigator Training
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Collecting Evidence
A magnetic retrieving tool A  12-inch  wooden  ruler A screwdriver (flat and Phillips head) Steel measuring tapes (12-foot and 100-foot) A  video  camera  (optional) A  voltage  tester Adjustable  wrenches  (6-inch  and  8-inch) A  yellow  lumber  crayon Investigating  a  mishap  scene  could  expose  you  to health   hazards   such   as   soot,   sharp   metal,   toxic chemicals, or asbestos fibers in torn lagging. In such cases, you need to wear at least the following protective equipment: Disposable coveralls Protective gloves Adequate  respiratory  protection Safety glasses and goggles Safety shoes If  a  respirator  is  necessary,  your  respiratory protection  officer  or  shore  Respiratory  Protection Program manager can help you get fit-tested and ensure you receive the required medical screening. INVESTIGATIVE  PROCEDURES A  mishap  has  occurred!  The  worst  that  could happen has happened! What are your priorities? There is  no  question  about  the  first  priority  at  a  mishap site—save  lives  and  prevent  more  injury  and  property loss. Aboard ship, damage control takes priority over preserving the scene of the mishap for investigators. Begin  your  investigation  as  soon  as  possible  after the  mishap.  The  sooner  you  begin,  the  better  your investigation will be. Witnesses will be present. You can gather more accurate facts because the damage and materials involved will be in the same relative position as  when  the  mishap  occurred. The mishap investigator is seldom the first to arrive at the scene of a mishap. An activity with a pre-mishap plan will have a supervisor on the scene who knows how to  protect  the  site,  detain  witnesses,  and  provide observations.  Protecting  and  preserving  the  mishap  site is  important.  However,  it  may  be  necessary  to  disturb the scene for damage control purposes. 4-7 Your  first  overall  observation  and  analysis  on arrival at the scene is critical. Slow your approach to the scene so that you can observe the overall big picture. Start your investigation the minute you arrive, but don’t  hinder  damage  control  or  first-aid  efforts.  Don’t become  part  of  the  mishap!  Once  people  have  calmed down, victims have been removed, and the area is safe, your priorities are as follows: Preserve  the  evidence Protect the mishap site Secure the evidence You will have little time to plan your investigation. Always be ready to begin collecting facts and evaluating the situation with little prior notification. Preserving Evidence Mishaps gather crowds! People forget their work and begin running in all directions as they rush in for a look. Too often, many more people arrive on the scene than  need  to  be  there.  Preserving  evidence  and controlling  activities  under  these  conditions  is  almost hopeless. Evidence gets washed away, trampled on, thrown over the side, picked up as a souvenir, or scooped up  in  initial  clean-up  efforts. When  a  mishap  occurs,  especially  aboard  ship, everyone’s first thought is to get the site back to normal. That  must  be  discouraged  if  it  doesn’t  impact  on operational readiness. Anything that can be left in place should  not  be  touched. As a safety supervisor, you may be a key player in preserving evidence until a mishap investigation board arrives.  Take  the  following  steps  (which  should  be included  in  your  pre-mishap  plan)  to  preserve  evidence: Cord off or secure the mishap scene. Post a guard if you must! Get  a  photographer  on  the  scene  as  soon  as possible  to  take  photographs—takes  lots  of photos  of  everything.  Use  a  video  camera,  if available,  as  well. Cover  the  scene  with  a  tarp  if  the  scene  is outdoors or if the scene may be disturbing to passersby. Prevent  witnesses  from  leaving  the  area.  Keep them  from  conversing  with  each  other,  if possible.  Get  their  names  and  a  phone  number

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