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Published 01/08/2021

2022 Guide for an Incident Report Form

An incident report form is a worksite tool used to document events that could have caused severe injuries to an individual or damage to the company property. Incident report forms are typically used to record accidents, security breaches, near misses, misconducts, injuries, health and safety issues, equipment failures, and property/equipment damage. Any event that negatively impacts the employees' ability to work efficiently must be noted.

The significant benefits of incident reporting at the workplace include:
- Induces immediate reinforcement of actions
- Facilitates continuous improvement of processes
- Creates awareness on potential hazards and threats

The primary purpose of an incident report form is to provide information when investigating and analyzing occurrences in the workplace. This involves identifying the root cause and establishing corrective actions to prevent similar destructive events in the future.

Generally, an incident report form is a safety document used to indicate the worksite's uncontrolled hazards and potential risks. It's an established idea aimed at improving safety and health in various workplaces. The possible threats in the workplace could be machine and equipment damages, high-risk jobs, bad employee behaviors, infectious diseases, non-compliance, and the absence of proper PPEs and controls.

Incident reports are used by:

- Authorities to create reports of incidents
- Workers to report incidents they witness in the workplace
- Any organizational member to create awareness about a particular event that has occurred in the workplace

Reporting incidents revolves around capturing every workplace accident, injury, and near-miss. Regardless of how minor the event was, an incident report must be completed at the time of occurrence of the event. However, most workers in some organizations still don't know how this safety protocol functions. So, it's the mandate of the safety management team to create safety training sessions on incident reporting. This helps create a sound and healthy culture and working environment for employees.

What needs to be included in an incident report form?

- General information-This includes fundamental information such as date, time, and specific location of the incident.
- Environment or setting-Entails environmental and physical conditions that facilitate the incident
- Affected individual-Names of the affected people, title, position, and department
- Equipment and property damage-Pertains any company assets, equipment, materials, and facilities damaged during the event.
- Injuries and severity-Document the type of injuries, body parts affected, and their severity.
- Administered treatment-This includes the initial treatment, first aid, and any medications given to the injured individuals.
- Witnesses-Pertains to the statement of any person present at the scene when the incident occurred
- Events-Details on the event and why it turned out to be incident
- Actions of individuals involved during the occurrence-What did the involved Individuals do when the incident occurred?

An incident report form should include all the significant information about the near miss or accident. To ensure that all necessary details and facts are appropriately captured, incident reports should be factual, accurate, valid, complete, and include graphics.

The four primary incidents that must be reported are sentinel events (fire incidents, property damages, environmental incidents, vehicle incidents, and worker injury incidents), near misses, adverse events, and no harm occurrences.

Immediate recording of the incident details improves the accuracy of the report and the effect of the corrective measures. Although it may take you several days to complete the report, you should take fewer hours to start it. After completing an incident report, the form should be submitted to the investigation team.

Example Incident Report Form

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Incident Report Form Submission Process

The primary purpose of the investigation team is to look at the incident deeper and identify its causes during the follow-up process of the reported event. The investigations are typically conducted by competent individuals with expertise in collecting and analyzing data with the help of the evidence captured in the incident report form.

Also, the team should be knowledgeable on the fundamentals of occupational health and safety. Therefore, the investigation isn't focused on finding fault but, however, determined to find the root causes and implement corrective actions to prevent the incident from recurring.

When an organization is committed to effective reporting of incidents, it builds a safer workplace and inspires change. First, understand the significance of incident reporting and then implement a sound reporting process and tools. This helps to efficiently detect any safety gaps in the worksite and build the necessary recommendations, thus minimizing the frequency and severity of occurrences.

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