Center Safety
Mission Assurance

Center Safety

To assist commanders in providing employees with a workplace free of recognized hazards, thereby achieving the highest possible state of mission readiness through the effective prevention of mishaps.

Through mission support and education Safety Division will provide appropriate levels of training and professional guidance enhancing leadership’s decision making processes for identifying hazards by reducing or ultimately eliminating the risk inherent to mishaps associated with injuries and/or death.


Mishap Investigating and Reporting
Date: 7/17/2012

Mishaps must be reported. Your unit safety manager is trained on mishap investigation and reporting. Your Base Safety Office or the Naval Safety Center can assist.

The purpose of the Marine Corps Ground Mishap Reporting Program (MCGMRP) is mishap prevention. Plainly and simply, because mishaps are caused and do not just happen, they can be prevented. The ideal behavior is to identify and eliminate hazards before they cause a mishap. But when a mishap does occur it means something has failed and must be investigated and reported.

The investigation procedures, reports and records required by MCO P5102.1 will assist you in determining what failed and what adjustments may be necessary to prevent similar mishaps. Mishap investigation and reporting procedures can and will be long, complicated and most likely confusing procedures depending on the mishap. With assistance and guidance from the Chain of Command and MARFORPAC, it might not be too complicated. Don't be afraid to ask for help. The Naval Safety Center will send assistance to you at no cost to the command.

Helpful Tips

  • Ask to review your mishap logs. Are they up to date?
  • Is there a separate mishap log for Active Duty and civilian personnel?
  • Does your unit safety manager receive mishap reports within 24 hours?
  • Is your unit safety manager in the loop when mishap investigations are required? Too many times the Commanding Officer attempts to complete the Legal investigation and overlooks the safety investigation.
  • Is the Commanding Officer aware that safety investigations are separate from SJA investigation. Note: Nothing in the Safety Investigation will be turned over to legal.
  • Make sure the CO does not assign the safety manager to a SJA investigation where a mishap is involved.
  • See Flash Report and review Force Order 5101.1 on using this report.
  • Contact MFR Ground Safety for further details on mishap investigations and reporting. See MCO 5102.1 for details.

Applicability: all units.

Details: Few mishaps require major investigation and reporting. Most of the mishaps are reported with just a phone call and a flash report but when any mishap occurs, immediate investigation is necessary to determine how the mishap should be reported. First find out what happened. Do not wait to talk to people involved in the mishap. Get the information from them while it is still fresh in their minds. With this information you can possibly determine the course of action and take it from there. Always use MCO P5102.1. Look for the answers to these vital questions:

  • WHO was injured?
  • WHAT were the material, machines, or equipment involved?
  • WHERE did it happen?
  • WHEN did it happen?
  • HOW did it happen?
  • WHY did it happen?

Flash Report
Upon notification of a Ground Mishap, fill out the Flash Report (by block #) as follows.

1. Time: The time you receive the call.
2. Date: The date you receive the call.
3. P.O.C.: The person who is calling or the person with the most information.
4. Phone: The phone number where the P.O.C. can be reached.
5. The title of the unit.
6. Unit Location: The physical location.
7. Type of Mishap: One of the following;

  • On - Duty - Industrial, Government Motor Vehicle, Military Training or Other on duty.
  • Off - Duty -Private Motor Vehicle, Sports/Recreation, Other off duty.
8. Time/Date of Mishap: The time and date when the mishap occurred.
9. Location of Mishap: Address, Bldg. #, Road, be specific.
10. Info of Injured and/or Involved:
  • Name
  • Rank
  • SSN
  • Age (if known)
  • MOS (if known)
  • Component (Active Duty or SMCR)
  • Nature of injury: (i.e.. Fatality, Heart Attack, Broken Arm, etc.)
11. Circumstances Surrounding Mishap: Collect and record as much information as you can. Use back of form or additional paper if necessary.
12. Print and sign your name at the bottom.

Accident Investigations: initial investigation

  1. Get to the scene of the mishap ASAP! Immediate on-the-scene investigation always provides the most accurate and useful information. Any delay may permit important evidence to be destroyed or moved. As an investigator, you must be information hungry. Be extremely observant. Take accurate notes.
  2. Talk to witnesses and get initial statements from them. Talk to the witnesses separately. This way you get their recount of the events without someone telling what they saw.
  3. Take photographs, make drawings, measurements etc.
  4. Report your initial findings/information to the Safety Officer or Commanding Officers/Inspector-Instructor. Also inquire about who will be on the Ground Mishap Review Board (GMRB). Refer to MCO P5102.1, Chapter 5. Be ready to type the appointment letters.
  5. As soon as possible, contact the injured Marine for his statement of what happened but be sure he is well enough and rational enough (medication) to answer questions. In serious injury cases ALWAYS clear this with the attending medical authorities. Do nothing to aggravate the Marine's condition.

Safety Investigation: (MCO P5102.1 Chapter 3)

You have 30 days to investigate and report your findings. Extensions may be granted under certain circumstances. Should it become evident that the deadline cannot be met, the investigating commander shall request a deadline extension from CMC (SD) by message and ensuring all appropriate addresses are included. Requests shall describe the specific reasons for delay. Reasons such as "Administrative Delay" or "Investigative Delay" are not sufficient. Be specific. Refer to MCO P5102.1, Chapter 4, paragraph 4202.

When investigating a mishap become familiar with the following subjects listed in Chapter 3.

  • Mishap investigation responsibilities: CO, Multiple commands, En route to new duty station, Remote areas, Unclear cases regarding responsibilities.
  • Independence of safety investigations: Separate from a JAG investigation. Note: Safety managers are never to participate in a JAG investigation unless they are the ones being investigated.
    • Scope of investigations: complexity, Marine Corps Operations, severity, potential for recurrence, investigations by other agencies.
    • Safety investigators
    • Collection of evidence
    • Investigative evidence: access to M.C. materials, human factors investigation, photographic evidence, witnesses and statements.
    • Analysis of evidence: analysis, personnel factors, material failure/malfunction, facilities conclusions, causal factors, environment, recommendations.

Witness Statements
The accounts of witnesses often provide important and some times the only leads as to the cause factors of the mishap. The following apply to witness statements;

  • Witnesses shall not be administered truth serums, drugs, hypnotic techniques or polygraph tests. If the statement is given while the witness is on medication, a notation indicating the type of medication will be made to the documentation.
  • Witnesses do not testify under oath and are not sworn.
  • Witness shall be advised that the main purpose of the safety investigation is to determine all factors relating to the mishap in order to prevent similar mishaps.
  • Advice to witnesses about their voluntary disclosure of information differs on whether the investigation will result in a "Limited Use Mishap Investigation Report" or a "General Use Mishap Investigation Report". Hopefully, mishap will be a General Use Mishap Investigation Report and the Privacy Act Disclosure Statement on Pg. 3-11 will apply. Have the witness sign and date this form stating that they understand.


Center Safety
(760) 830-6154

(760) 830-8465

Deputy Director

(760) 830-5178

(760) 830-8466

Confined Space/Respiratory Protection
(760) 830-8467

Occupational Safety & Health
(760) 830-3779/4232

Explosive Safety
(760) 830-8464

Motor Vehicle Safety
(760) 830-6154

Tactical Safety
(760) 830-7262


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