The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

APS Guideline for Accident Investigations



The primary purpose of an incident or accident investigation is to identify the hazard control systems that either failed or were lacking. By determining the direct, contributing, and root causes, CAT/XSD hopes to identify corrective actions that can help prevent similar occurrences.

Applicability & Scope

This guideline applies to incidents and accidents occurring in CAT/XSD’s facilities at the APS.

  • Accident: an unexpected event that produces personal injury, illness, or death; damage to or loss of property or vehicles; or environmental releases involving reportable quantities of radiation or hazardous materials.
  • Incident: an unexpected occurrence that could result in an accident or illness if repeated—a "near miss."
  • First aid: one-time treatment and subsequent observation of minor scratches, cuts, splinters, burns, etc., that do not ordinarily require medical care from a physician. (Such treatment is considered first aid even if it is provided by medical personnel.)
  • Occupational illness: an abnormal physical condition or disorder caused by exposure to chemicals, radiation, or any other factors associated with the work environment.
  • Reportable accident: any accident whose consequences go beyond the administration of first aid.


The CAT/XSD Director shall ensure that the requirements of this guideline are met. The Director shall also review all investigation reports.

First-Line Supervisors

First-line supervisors and Principal Investigators with direct responsibility for the people, equipment, or facility involved in an incident or accident shall ensure that the CAT/XSD Safety Coordinator and CAT/XSD Manager are promptly notified and shall perform the initial investigations. Supervisors are also responsible for ensuring that appropriate corrective actions are implemented.

Safety Coordinator

The CAT/XSD Safety Coordinator or the CAT/XSD Manager shall:

  • Investigate incidents and accidents (unless the CAT/XSD Director assigns another individual to this role) and support the investigatory efforts of other CAT/XSD personnel;
  • Promptly notify the AES ES&H Coordinator and/or the XSD ES&H Coordinator of any occupational illness or reportable accident; and
  • Monitor the progress of corrective actions and advise managers when schedules are not being met.

All CAT/XSD Personnel

CAT/XSD personnel shall immediately report all injuries and illnesses through the 911 system either by calling 911 or by having a co-worker call. CAT/XSD personnel shall also report accidents and incidents to CAT/XSD line management as described below. CAT/XSD personnel, including witnesses to an incident/accident, are expected to participate in investigations as required.

Response to Accidents and Incidents


Any person who witnesses an accident or incident or who comes upon an accident or incident not known to be previously reported shall first call 911 if appropriate and then immediately notify the CAT/XSD Manager. If he/she is unavailable, notify the APS Floor Coordinator. All phone calls should be made from a safe location.

The CAT/XSD Safety Coordinator or an alternate shall notify the AES ES&H Coordinator and/or the XSD ES&H Coordinator as soon as is practical after learning of any occupational illness or reportable accident, for further guidance on investigation and reporting requirements.

On-Scene Actions

Upon arriving at the scene of a reportable accident, CAT/XSD personnel shall report to the Area Emergency Supervisor, if present, and secure the area and all related equipment and machinery to prevent further incidents and preserve evidence that may be relevant to subsequent investigations. CAT/XSD should notify either the AES ES&H Coordinator, the XSD ES&H Coordinator, or the APS Floor Coordinator if additional assistance is needed in securing the incident/accident scene.

Investigation of Incidents and First-aid Accidents

The CAT/XSD Safety Coordinator (or alternate appointed by the CAT/XSD Director) will lead investigations of incidents and first-aid accidents. Reports shall be submitted to the CAT/XSD Director for review and concurrence. Personal accounts of an incident using the ESH-239 Form shall be submitted to APS-ESH immediately. The APS ES&H Coordinators will help conduct the investigation. Submission of required documents to ANL must occur within seven (7) days of the incident.

Investigation of occupational Illnesses and Reportable Accidents

The CAT/XSD Safety Coordinator will seek guidance from the AES ES&H Coordinator and/or the XSD ES&H Coordinatorupon learning of any occurrence in these categories.

  • The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 1904
  • LMS-PROC-86
  • LMS-PROC-157

Last Updated: May 16, 2011