Accidents can happen in any workplace, no matter how safe they may be. That’s why workplace safety is of utmost importance, and one way to ensure this is by having an effective incident reporting system in place. Without it, accidents could go unnoticed and unaddressed, which could lead to more serious injuries down the line. In addition, there are different types of incidents and incident reports that you should know. In this guide, we will discuss the different types of incidents that can occur in the workplace, as well as the process for submitting an incident report. By understanding what types of incidents can happen and how to report them, you can create a safe and healthy work environment for your employees.
What is an Incident Report?
An incident report is a document that is used to record details of a workplace accident or near misses that have occurred. It is typically completed by someone who witnessed the event, including information such as the time, date, and location of the incident and a description of what happened.
An incident report is crucial for capturing details of the event in situations like personal injury, damage to company assets, security breaches, health and safety risks, misconduct, and more. Companies are encouraged to file incident reports since they give clear and concise documentation of any incidents that happen in the workplace.
Purpose of an Incident Report
Incident reports are designed to help identify trends and potential hazards in the workplace. They can also be used to improve safety procedures and policies. By understanding what types of incidents are happening, companies can take steps to prevent them from happening again in the future.
Incident reports also serve as a formal written record of an event. This documentation can be used in the future if there is a need to review what happened or if there are legal implications that arise from the incident.
Benefits of Incident Reporting
Incident reports provide a lot more value than simply a record-keeping tool. Employees, management, and entire organizations benefit from the information that incident reports provide.
Even the authorities benefit from incident reports as they can help them understand what types of accidents happen in certain workplaces. In addition, this information can be used to improve safety regulations and policies.
The top three benefits of incident reporting at the workplace are the following:
Immediate Action Reinforcement
Once an accident or incident happens in the workplace, the first thing that needs to happen is for the proper authorities to be notified. This way, they can take the necessary steps to mitigate the situation.
For example, if there were a chemical spill, the fire department would need to be contacted immediately so that they could contain the spill and prevent it from spreading.
Incident reports help to ensure that the right people are notified, and that action is taken as quickly as possible.
Better Communication of Hazards and Threats
Everyone involved must understand what happened and why when an accident or incident happens in the workplace. This way, they can take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again.
Incident reports help improve communication by providing clear and concise event documentation. By reading an incident report, employees and management can understand what happened and why. This understanding can then be used to improve safety procedures and policies.
Improved Safety Procedures
As mentioned earlier, one of the main purposes of incident reports is to help identify potential hazards in the workplace. By understanding what types of accidents are happening, companies can take steps to prevent them from happening again in the future.
For example, if there is a pattern of slips and falls in a certain workplace area, it would be wise to put up a sign or barrier to prevent future accidents.
Categories of Workplace Incidents
Workplace incidents are categorized according to their level of severity. Some incidents are close calls, while others result in more significant injuries or property damage.
While different kinds of incidents happen in the workplace, here are six of the most common ones:
A positive observation is any incident that has the potential to cause harm but doesn’t because of preventive measures put in place. For example, an employee who slips on a wet floor but can catch themselves before falling would be considered a positive observation.
Unsafe acts don’t necessarily result in immediate harm or danger to property or personnel. However, they are still considered unsafe because they have the potential to cause an accident or incident.
For example, an employee who is not wearing proper PPE while working with hazardous materials would be considered unsafe.
A near miss is an incident that has the potential to cause harm but doesn’t because of lucky timing or other factors. For example, an employee who drops a hammer from a height of 20 feet but luckily doesn’t hit anyone would be considered a near miss.
Minor injuries are any injury that doesn’t require immediate medical attention and can be treated with first-aid. For example, a cut or bruise would be considered a minor injury.
Lost Time Accidents
A lost time accident is an incident that results in an employee being unable to work for some time. Lost time accidents vary in severity, from an employee missing a single shift to being unable to work for months or even years.
For example, an employee who sprains their ankle at work and cannot return to work for two weeks would be considered a lost time accident.
A fatality is an accident that results in the death of an employee. So naturally, no company wants to face the reality of a workplace fatality, but unfortunately, they do happen.
When an employee is killed while on the job, a thorough investigation must be conducted to determine the cause of the accident.
Common Types of Incident Reports
Different types of incident reports can be filed, depending on the type of incident that has occurred.
The most common types of incident reports are as follows:
Workplace incident reports are the most common types of incident reports. They are used to document any accidents or near-misses in the workplace.
Workplace reports also allow employees to voice their safety, conduct, and security concerns. In addition, these types of reports can be used to investigate potential hazards in the workplace.
Safety and Security
Safety and security reports document loss, theft, and other security incidents. Potential breaches included in a safety and security report can be physical, like theft or a break-in. However, it can also cover database breaches and cybercrime.
Accidents or First Aid
Accidents or first aid reports are used to document any accidents or incidents in the workplace. First aid reports document accidents that result in minor injuries, like cuts or bruises.
Accident reports document accidents that result in more serious injuries, like broken bones or concussions. These reports are also used to document accidents resulting in property damage.
Create An Incident Report with DATAMYTE
If you want to effectively incorporate incident reporting into your workplace safety and health program, consider using DATAMYTE, the leading cloud-based quality management platform. The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is an essential tool for anyone looking to improve their incident reporting.
The app lets you create workflows specific to your company and industry. With the app, you can quickly and easily create incident reports from anywhere, at any time.
In addition, the app allows you to track and trend incidents, so you can identify patterns and prevent future accidents.
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can:
- Perform paperless incident reports.
- Include useful elements such as photos or videos.
- Share incident reports with the relevant parties.
- Track and trend incidents to identify patterns.
- Prevent future accidents by taking corrective action.
Get started with the DataMyte Digital Clipboard today to improve your incident reporting. Schedule a demo with us to learn more.
Incident reporting is critical to ensuring a successful workplace safety and health program. You can create a safe and healthy workplace by implementing an effective incident reporting procedure. Make sure you incorporate everything you’ve learned in this article, and you’ll be on your way to a successful incident reporting system.