Best Practices For Saving and Protecting Critical Data Following An Incident Part I

Significant critical information is often lost following an accident/ incident due to poor data and information gathering procedures. As a result, should litigation occur, information that could be useful in determining the cause of the incident and later in building a defense is not collected. This paper will try to overcome these possible problems and suggests some of the information and data that should be collected and saved following an incident.

First, only the data and information that will be useful for investigating the cause of the accident/incident is gathered. Therefore, the data and information needs for any potential litigation that could follow are completely overlooked. Second, an easy to use check list that identifies all the data that is available and required for collection may not be readily available. Last, the attorneys advising the client may not be aware of all the data and information available for collection, so they are unable to ask for it to be collected.

Immediately after an incident (either a major accident or environmental release) the first steps to be taken must be to protect information from further loss and to secure the incident area to prevent conditions of the facility from being changed.

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