Business managers must create a report whenever there’s an unexpected illness, injury, or other emergencies in the workplace. Not only do these reports help in worker’s compensation cases, but they provide much-needed information about potential hazards in the workplace.
Below is information about incident reports, how they’re written, and what should be included in an incident report template.
What is an Incident Report?
An incident report is a document used to report workplace illnesses, injuries, accidents, misconduct, security issues, and near misses. Incident reports must be completed at the time of the incident, no matter how minor the injuries or damage.
In cases where emergency medical care is needed, incident reports should be completed as soon as emergency care is administered. Once the initial danger passes and all workers have received needed care, the workplace manager can create the report.
You should create an incident report any time an injury, illness, or other incident impacts workers’ ability to do their job. Although the exact information in an incident report may vary, your local and state government may have specific requirements. It’s important to find out what your state requires for workplace incident reports.
What is an Incident Report Template?
An incident report template is a pre-made template used to guide managers when they write incident reports. These templates include all the vital information needed for the incident reports. Many incident report templates also include the company’s branding.
There are plenty of incident report templates online. Some states may have templates online for business use. Whether you use a premade template or create something unique to your business, these templates will help your managers write consistent and complete incident reports.
Incident Report Templates & Examples
Essential Elements of an Incident Report
Although incident reports may differ between businesses, they all have the following essential elements:
- Basic Information: the time and date of the incident.
- Location: a description of the location and setting that contributed to the event. This may include a list of hazards in a particular area that led to the incident.
- Employees Affected: a list of all people involved, along with their positions and departments.
- Description of Injuries: a description of the injury, its severity, and the location of the injury (which parts of the body are impacted).
- Witnesses: a list of people present during the incident.
- Treatment: a description of any medical treatment or first aid provided, including a list of medications used. List any medical interventions like an ambulance or hospital visits.
- Damages to Property: a list of materials, equipment, and facilities damaged during the incident. If no damages occurred, list “no damages.”
- Description of Event: in story form, describe the incident in as much detail as possible. Describe the events that led to the incident and everything that happened during the incident.
- Actions Taken: list who did what at the time of the incident.
Kinds of Incidents
Not all incidents involve injuries. A variety of different kinds of incidents may occur.
These incidents are those that result in serious injury or death. Natural disasters, vehicle accidents, fires, slips, and falls may all cause serious injury to employees.
These are situations where no injury occurred, but the situation could have easily caused serious injury to an employee.
In a medical setting, these events occur when a patient is harmed by something besides their disease, whether a side effect or medical error. This includes mistakes of commission or omission. Any time a patient is harmed by something besides their illness, managers must file an incident report.
No Harm Events
These are incidents where no harm has been done, but the information must be shared to raise awareness. This includes security breaches or information about malfunctioning equipment. These incidents are reported to prevent sentinel incidents.
Why Fill an Incident Report Form
Incident report forms should be filled out for a few reasons:
- To inform relevant parties about the incident
- To help document any worker’s compensation-related incidents
- To make management aware of certain hazards
- To communicate hazards to employees
How to Fill an Incident Report Form
Your business’ incident report form should be created before any incidents occur. The form should include all needed information. This makes it easy for managers to fill out the needed form at the time of the incident.
When filling out an incident report form, make sure to include all information requested on the form. No portion should be blank. When possible, attach photos or videos of the incident to help provide relevant information.
Benefits of Using Incident Reports
Incident reports have important benefits for workplace safety. These benefits include:
- Improved overall safety on the worksite: when an incident report is submitted, the business can make improvements to processes and safety. Changes can mitigate workplace hazards.
- Reinforced manager and employee action: these forms help managers and employees see the seriousness of even minor incidents. This helps motivate everyone to make the necessary changes needed to promote workplace safety.
- Improved communication surrounding hazards and threats: incident reports help prevent repeated incidents since management should take action to continually update safety information and protocols.
Difference Between an Accident and an Incident
A workplace accident is always an incident, but an incident is not always an accident. For example, incidents may also include things like illnesses, natural disasters, security threats, and employee misconduct.
All workplace accidents should be reported in incident report forms. Other incidents, when relevant to workplace safety, should also be reported.
What are the different types of incident reports?
There are several different types of incident reports: accident, offense, security, workplace violence, near miss, natural disaster, property damage, and vehicle accident. Any event that impacts workplace safety should be included in an incident report.
What makes a good incident report?
A good incident report is clear and includes all necessary details about the situation. When possible, an incident report should include photos or video to provide additional clarity to the report.
What are the three C’s of incident reports?
The three C’s of incident reports are Coordination, Communication, and Collaboration. Coordination helps ensure that systems are in place to respond to emergency situations, such as injuries. Communication across management and departments helps minimize future incidents. And Collaboration means using previous incident reports to find solutions to repeated workplace problems.
Incident reports are an essential component of workplace safety. These reports are used to document any event that impacts the health and safety of employees. Accidents, near misses and property damage must all be reported with incident report forms.
With the information gathered by incident report forms, management can make important decisions to improve workplace safety protocols.