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What is an Incident Report?

What is an incident report

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What Is an Incident Report?

An incident report is a formal report that documents information on near misses and workplace accidents that may have caused or not caused injuries and property damages. They are crucial reports as they demonstrate health and safety issues, security breaches and misconducts, and property and equipment damage that would help a company decide the way forward after an incident. They give clear documentation of accidents that happen or could happen in the workplace. 

What Are the Four Types of Incident Reports

1. Accident or First Aid

These types document accidents that result in an injury. They are unique because safety officers, law enforcement, and members of an organization can write them. 

2. Safety and Security

Filed by a company’s security team, safety and security reports capture loss, theft, and security breaches occurring on a property. These breaches include cybercrime, database, and physical breaches such as a break-in or robberies.

3. Exposure Incident Report

This report documents accidents where a worker’s non-intact skin, mouth, eyes, or mucous membrane makes contact with potentially infectious material (PIM) such as blood. An employer must refer the exposed employee to a licensed healthcare professional during such incidents.

4. Workplace Report

These reports document events that generally happen at work and affect employees’ productivity. Accidents, including injuries, near misses, and events that negatively affect a company and its employees, are recorded in this form. They are also a platform for employees to raise safety, security, and conduct issues.

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When Should an Incident Report be Completed?

Incident reports should be filed immediately as soon as the incident occurs. In most cases, witnesses tend to forget details of the accident as time elapses, especially when the incident is traumatic. Therefore prompt incident reporting allows witness interviews to gather crucial and minute details for a helpful report.  

 

Prompt incident reporting has two significant benefits:

  1. Prompt reporting allows insurance companies to start addressing the claim. If the information on the incident is overstayed, they can raise premiums. Federal penalties could also apply if more time elapses between incident reporting and the event occurrence. 
  2. Accurate reporting, which results from prompt reporting, allows an organization to better address issues associated with security. 

During reporting, you should take minor injuries as seriously as significant ones. Minor injuries can get worse and result in serious health issues.

What Incidents Should be Reported?

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Sentinel Events

Sentinel events are unexpected occurrences such as natural disasters, vehicle accidents, trips and falls, and disease outbreaks that lead to physical and psychological injury or death. Such incidents can be worker injury incidents, property damage incidents, fire incidents, and environmental incidents.

Adverse Incidents

These events are usually associated with medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment. They occur when an act of omission or commission harms the patient rather than the intended patient’s condition. 

Near Misses

It is a situation where an existing risk could have harmed employees but did not. It is a broad category that requires you to investigate various factors before confirming that the event is a near miss. For example, an employee slipped and almost fell due to dim lighting or a leak. These incidents are usually a wake-up call for companies.

Unsafe Events

Although they do not necessarily result in immediate danger or harm to personnel, they still need to be addressed as they are unsafe. They can be no-harm events, but organizations must communicate them to raise awareness of potential hazards. 

Positive Observations

Employees should also report positive observations to highlight and encourage the kind of acts a company desires. They are good examples of how employees should carry themselves in the workplace.

How Do You Report an Incident in the Workplace?

Incident report

Companies usually have different ways of reporting an incident. Some organisations may require you to report to HR personnel while others provide an online incident reporting system such as INDUCT FOR WORK that any contractor, visitor or an employee, can access through the internet. However, at the very minimum, each company should have a  standard incident report form that every employee can access, fill in, and submit.

What Makes a Good Incident Report?

A good incident report usually documents all the necessary information about an incident to pave the way for a successful investigation and corrective actions. It is usually:

Factual

Avoid biased, opinionated, or emotional sentiments when writing your incident report. It should be objective and supported by facts. If you need to add statements from witnesses, make sure that you quote those statements.

Accurate

A good incident report avoids typos and simple grammatical errors, for example, incorrect information on the names of employees involved or the date and time of the incident. It should always be evident and specific and avoid vague sentiments that may confuse.

Complete

Ensure that your incident report answers all the essential questions required in the information. It includes questions about what, where, how, when, and why. It should contain details on the cause, the victims, witnesses who reported the incident, and those who will conduct the investigation. You may require further information for further study or analysis. 

Contains Visuals

A good incident report contains photos, diagrams, and illustrations, to support your claims. You can take as many photos as possible of the injury, damage, and the surrounding environment. Adding visuals also enhances clarity within the report.

Valid

Authorities should be able to confirm that the incident report is truthful and unquestionable. And for that to materialize, all those involved in the incident, for example, the victim, witnesses, and the manager, should sign off to confirm that the information given is accurate.

How Do You Create an Incident Report?

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What data should be contained in an incident report?

How should you present that data?

Follow this incident reporting guidelines and procedures when you need to create an incident report.

Incident Reporting Guidelines

  1. Ask a reporter to provide fundamental information which include the time and place of the incident, property damages, type of injury, and what activity was taking place when the incident occurred.
  2. Allow them to explain in detail the damages and injuries caused by the incident. If possible, ask them to add photos as evidence to support their claims.
  3. Ask them to provide you with information on the affected worker, i.e., their name, job title, and other related information.  
  4. Let them Identify the witnesses and document them and their statements. Information from the witnesses will aid in understanding what led to the incident and if the behavior of the injured employee directly contributed to the incident and the damage/injury. You can note the witnesses’ statements as they are or paraphrase them. You may also choose to ask for their signatures to validate their claim/information.
  5. Take corrective action after the incident to avoid the recurrence of the incident. The incident reporting form should have a corrective section where admins would enter information such as what is the outcome of investigation, what actions were taken and what improvements have been made.

Companies may have different incident reporting formats. They may stipulate varying incident reporting procedures for reporting workplace accidents. As a manager, you must ensure that all employees know their way around incident writing in their work environment. This process is only daunting if you have to do it manually. 

What Is the Difference Between Incident Report and Police Report

Some people may think that incidents and police reports are the same thing. However, there is a clear line between the two; a police report documents a crime, and those who file this report are police officers or representatives from a police department present at the crime scene. On the other hand, anyone who wants to give information about an incident that may or may not have caused physical injury or damage can file an incident report. And while police reports require an investigation to follow, incident reports can serve as supporting evidence to an analysis or investigation.

Induct For Work and Incident Reporting

Creating incident reports requires rigorous documentation and can only be daunting and time-consuming when done manually. However when  using Induct For Work you can streamline incident reporting and minimise your time when creating forms. It will help you ease the entire process through automated workflows which involve capturing electronic signatures, attaching photo evidence, easy record keeping of incident reports, inducting employees to your company’s incident reporting guidelines, and much more. 

Inductions and Incident Reporting

When you combine your Online Inductions with Incident Reporting you will save your organisation a lot of time and resources. It would allow you to have one stop shop for collection of pre-employment documents, induction, onboarding and incident reporting.   

And as a manager or employer, you can rest assured knowing that new employees are equipped with all the necessary information on their new working environment involving company rules and expectations, procedures, and required tasks.

Tens of thousands of organisations across limitless industries are using Induct For Work and here is why, it is:

  1. Time efficient: Inductions promote the cohesive function of a business. However, they consume hours and hours of business time. Online Induction Software will help you administer inductions to your contractors, subcontractors, and all employees in a matter of seconds. You don’t have to worry about having all induction records, documentation, and administrative information in one location, as this software will train and induct your employees from the comfort of their homes.
  2. Cost-effective: Time is money, and since this software is time efficient, it is safe to say it’s a more cost-effective option. It will help your business reduce unnecessary and hidden expenses associated with face-to-face inductions. You don’t need to hire locations for extensive group inductions.
  3. Provides organisations with a Peace of Mind: You can rely Induct For Work to ensure that your workforce inductions will achieve consistency in their quality. You can effortlessly track and monitor employee training to ensure they are up to date with their training.
  4. Productivity: By freeing time and money, providing effective inductions, and providing a more convenient method to management, Online Induction Software will help you increase your company’s productive habits.  

To find out more click on Incident Report 

Do you have any questions or great tips to share?
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