Accidents will happen. What happens next separates the responsible contractors from the not-so-responsible ones. Houston-based Fisk Electric takes its post-accident process seriously, and so should you. Rex Martin, general superintendent (left), and Steve Thorwegen, vice president (right), told us how they pick up the pieces.

Gathering evidence — Martin visits each accident site personally to look for things like low light levels and clutter, and then conducts interviews. “You have to listen to everyone and then decide what you think actually happened and what the root cause was,” he says.

Managing treatment — No matter what it's for, a prescription will cause even the tamest slip to qualify as an OSHA recordable accident. Thorwegen tries to minimize 'scripts for pain relievers with OTC alternatives. “We're not trying to tell anyone that they don't need medication,” he says. “But sometimes a doctor will write you a prescription for aspirin.”

Preventing reoccurrence — The only good thing about an accident is the lesson it provides. Martin will amend a current policy or write a new one and distribute it to each project site within two weeks.

Quashing rumors — Only two people really know what happened — the victim and the safety manager. Everyone else is just passing along what they heard. Spreading the fact before the fiction leaks will prevent misinformation and misinterpretation. “If you don't get out the correct information quickly,” Thorwegen says, “you're left to the rumor mill.”