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Garbage Investigations

As you’d expect in my role, I spend a lot of time talking with clients and would-be clients about ICAM and investigations.

My aim in these conversations is to obviously sell our services, including ICAM training and ICAM investigations.

I enjoy these conversations (generally!). I don’t always win the sale, but in nearly every conversation, I get the opportunity to learn about a business and the challenges they face. At times, I’ve been able to assist them even if it isn’t ICAM related, sharing experiences learned over the years in the industry.

On the flip side of these, there are also some difficult conversations had.

With so many investigation methodologies out there, there will always be supporters of one method over another.

I’m a realist. I know that’s how business works.

But the one thing I’ve learned over the years in the industry, and it’s not just investigation-related, is that if you put garbage in, you’re going to get garbage out.

GIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. It’s a term that’s been around for years.

Regardless of the task you’re doing, but especially in incident investigations, if you don’t take the time to do things properly, to rush through, to shortcut processes, and so on, the reality is, you’re not going to get a great outcome.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

This is not an ICAM thing- this is any investigation process!

Over the years, we’ve written many articles to help investigators produce quality investigation outcomes. Let’s recap some of these, and work towards preventing garbage investigations.


What Makes a Good Investigator?

The Link Between Near Misses and Significant Events

Indicators Of Unsafe Conditions- How Spider-Man Can Help Us

Emergency Response Plans- Planning Before The Incident

Proactive Application of ICAM Principles


Who Are The Four Horsemen of Investigations?

The Relationship Between ICAM and 5 Whys

Securing The Scene, Preserve The Evidence

5 Steps to Improved Scene Photography

The Importance of Focusing On The Organisational Factors During an Investigation

Red Herrings In Workplace Incident Investigations

Witness Interviewing: How To Deal With Reluctant Witnesses

Developing PEEPO For Your Incident Investigation

Human Factors, Human Error and The Role Of Bad Luck In Incident Investigations


Those Who Fail to Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It

Best Practice Writing Style Principles for Preparing Quality Incident Investigation Reports

How Could It Have Happen Again?

Interested in Knowing More?

Further information on Safety Wise’s Incident Cause Analysis (ICAM) Training is available from our website:

Additional ICAM Related Services

Safety Wise also offers the following additional services for sites that adopt the ICAM investigation analysis method:

  • Quality review of incident investigations using ICAM

  • Trend analysis of organisational factors contributing to serious incidents

  • Participation in investigations as an external / independent party


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