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Figure 4-3.—Sketch of mishap scene
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Naval Safety Supervisor - Military manual on safety practices
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Interviewing Witnesses - 14167_68
Use grid or graph paper, if available, to help draw to scale.  Mark  sketches  or  diagrams  aboard  ships  showing forward  and  aft,  port  and  starboard,  compartment number, or frame number. Ashore, mark magnetic north or  place  north  in  the  upper  left  corner.  Use  key landmarks or features to orient your drawing. Mark key points, distances, and movement on a spare navigation chart or map. Remember to be as accurate as possible. Some   items   to   record   and   measure   include   the following: Location of injured and dead personnel Machines  and  equipment  affected  by  the  mishap Parts broken off or detached from the equipment Objects damaged, marked, or struck against Gouges, scratches, dents, or paint smears Tracks or similar indications of movement Defects  or  irregularities Accumulations of stains or fluids Spilled  or  contaminated  substances Areas of debris Sources  of  possible  distractions  or  adverse environmental  conditions Safety devices and equipment Positions  of  people  and  witnesses Possible  movement  of  people,  before,  during,  or after a mishap Look for things that are obviously missing. A key part of a machine may not have been replaced during maintenance. Using Various Types of Witnesses We usually think of witnesses as being people who were  at  or  near  the  mishap  scene  who  can  provide helpful information. But witnesses need not be human. A witness can be anything or anyone who provides insight into a mishap. A witness may not have even been near the mishap but can provide information about events   leading   up   to   the   mishap.   Some   mishap investigation  courses  identify  four  types  of  witnesses, known as the four “P’s”: people, parts, position, and paper. People.  People  can  include  others  besides eyewitnesses, participants, and victims. They can be your friends, supervisors, or anyone who can provide information about the mishap. They can also  be  technical  representatives  for  equipment or aircraft involved in the mishap. Parts. Parts  include  debris,  wreckage,  charred wood,  failed  machinery,  support  equipment,  or stressed metals found at the mishap site. Position. Position  includes  the  mishap  location, patterns  of  movement,  where  victims  were found, and where the wreckage was found or was resting after the mishap. Paper. Paper, such as logs, records, reports, drawings,  and  recordings,  provides  witnessing information. Although we may not think of them as paper-type products, floppy disks also fall into this category. All  of  these  items  “testify”  about  the  mishap.  But by  far  the  most  valuable  information  about  “how”  the mishap occurred comes from the human witness. In a JAG Manual investigation or any other legal investigation, the investigator is interested in the truth. Witnesses must swear under oath that their testimony is true. The written testimony of witnesses, which can be used against them, must stand up in court. Witnesses  are  sometimes  reluctant  to  fully cooperate  in  legal  investigations  because  they  fear retribution. That inhibits investigators from getting all the pertinent information. A safety investigation cannot risk the withholding of  information!  Therefore,  witness  testimony  in  a  safety investigation  is  NEVER  TAKEN  UNDER  OATH!  The safety investigator and witness must share a free and open  flow  of  truthful  information.  Witnesses  must  be confident  that  what  they  say  will  not  be  used  against them in any disciplinary or administrative proceeding. Witnesses must feel free to share rumors; their opinions, thoughts, or recommendations; or any other information about the mishap. They must understand that the only purpose  for  the  information  is  SAFETY  and  that investigators need to know everything about the mishap to prevent recurrence. Safety  officers,  safety  petty  officers,  or  safety supervisors  who  conduct  an  informal  investigation  may take oral testimony. Although you may take notes, be careful  to  avoid  documenting  any  information  that  may be used to harm witnesses or their command. For a 4-11

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