Incident reports are crucial for minimizing the risk of future occurrences. They can be used to prevent more serious accidents and protect the company by saving time and resources. Incident reports can later be used as safety documents identifying potential safety hazards that may reoccur in the workplace.
What are the types of incidents that need reporting?
There are four main types of incidents that occur in the workplace that require reporting. They are:
Unexpected events. Any situation that is unexpected or accidental that results in a serious injury, including psychological, physical, non-fatal, and fatal injuries. It may also include damage to company property. Examples of unexpected events are slips, trips, falls, theft, natural disaster, fire, and vehicle accidents.
Near misses. Any unexpected incident that would have had the potential to cause psychological or physical harm to an employee or damage to company property.
Adverse events. Any incident related to medicine, vaccines, and medical devices used to treat employees. This can involve any unintended harm that came from the commission of treatment or omission of the procedure. This should not include harm resulting from an existing disease or condition.
Awareness events. Any risks of potential incidents that may occur in the line of duty. These incidents should be recorded and communicated to all employees to increase awareness of the risks and safety measures that can mitigate risks. The reports should be accessible to all employees to refer to them at any time.
What should be included in the incident report?
- Type of Incident
- Unexpected events
- Near misses
- Adverse events
- Awareness events
- Specific location (e.g., 3rd-floor laboratory)
- Offsite location (the address of the specific location)
- Date and time of the incident
- Name(s) of the person(s) injured or the name(s) of the person(s) at risk in a case of a near miss
- Witness(es) name(s)
- Name of supervisor
- Description of injuries (or the potential injuries that may occur in a case of a near miss
- A detailed description of the incident, including:
- Sequence of events
- Results of the event
- Observations of anything unusual before, during, or after the incident
- Observations of safety equipment or procedures used
- The affected or involved person(s) version of the events
- Witness statements
- A detailed description of the treatment after the incident, which may include:
- The reasoning behind the decision to call or not call emergency services
- How the injury (if any) was treated
- How the area of the incident was controlled, cleaned up, or rectified
- A post-analysis of the incident
- The root cause(s) of the incident
- Any health and safety breaches that may have contributed to the incident
- The hazards identified
- How to remove the hazards or mitigate the risks
- Photographs (if relevant and where possible)
When incidents are reported, staff have peace of mind knowing that their well being is a priority and that measures are being taken to improve workplace safety.