How do you write an incident report at work?

OSHA reporting and incident tracking are crucial parts of health and safety management. An incorrect or missed OSHA report can have serious consequences for a company. Financial penalties for failing to submit incident reports may be severe, not to mention the loss of the corporate image as a healthy workplace. Recordkeeping and Incident Management Software simplifies and improves incident reporting ranging from OSHA reports to near-miss accidents.

What Does an Incident Report Contain?

An incident report is a written document of the details involving an accident, illness, or near-miss at work. Its main objective is to figure out what happened and how it happened in order to avoid such events in the future.

The following should be included in any incident report you submit:

- The type of the incident (near miss, injury, theft, or property damage)
- Address
- Date of the incident
- Time of the incident
- Name of the person who has been affected
- A narrative overview of the incident, including the sequence of events and the incident's outcome.
- Injuries, if any
- Treatments required, if any
- Name of the witness
- Statements of witness
- Other employees who were involved
- 360-degree photos and/or video of the scene

If possible, provide quantifiable data. For example, the victim was hoisting 300 pounds and the ladder's capacity is 250 pounds.

Finally, if more than one worker gets injured in an accident, make a separate report about each employee who was hurt. Although it is considered okay to repeat general information in reporting of this type, you need to add information unique to the individual, such as their perspective on the incident or medical history.

What kind of incident needed to be reported?

In addition to scheduled safety compliance reports, OSHA incident reporting is required if any of the following situations occur:

- An employee is killed on the job,
- If an employee needs hospitalization due to a work-related accident or illness,
- Amputation occurs as a result of an accident,
- An eye is lost due to an accident.

OSHA incident reporting must be done within eight hours of the incident in the case of a death. In the case involving injuries, the time limit may extend to 24 hours.

A serious safety incident is unsettling for both staff and employers. It can be difficult to put together exactly what happened as human memory is more pliable than we think. Real-time incident management software enables staff to monitor reports of incidents as they occur, allowing you to send an accurate report to OSHA and assess whether OSHA and corporate safety procedures were followed prior to the incident.

When an Incident report should be recorded?

As soon as the workers are safe, file an injury report, which includes getting medical attention and taking prompt disciplinary measures to avoid further risk or harm.

You can increase the accuracy of your report and the outcomes of your corrective measures by documenting information as soon as possible. Although finishing your report can take several days, getting started should only take a few hours.

You may be legally obligated to complete an incident report within a certain period of time, depending on the company policy and supervision from relevant regulatory bodies. You must complete OSHA Form 301 within seven days if the incident resulted in a recordable injury. In addition, you may be required to send your injury report to the organization, such as US Federal or State OSHA, within a certain time frame.

For more information, check out the federal OSHA incident reporting and recordkeeping requirements or go to your state's OSHA website. Remember to inform OSHA immediately if there is a fatality, hospitalization, or amputation.

Common Errors in Incident Reporting

Incident reports are more than just a form to fill out; they're an important part of the recordkeeping processes for both compliance and overall safety. However, safety teams will often get in their own way and overlook vital facts by making common errors.

Two common incident reporting errors to avoid are blaming others and just getting the job done.

Incident reports are not prepared to determine who is to be blamed. While employees should be kept accountable (as per company policy) when they intentionally endanger themselves or others, an incident report should concentrate on improving workplace safety.

Employees are more likely to engage in the incident investigation and provide truthful witness statements if you make it clear that you'll follow company policies but aren't looking to cast blame. These elements contribute to a more robust incident report.

Furthermore, rushing through the report to "just get it done" may result in the omission of important information or a lack of consistency in wording. Irresponsible reporting puts the staff at risk, while detailed, consistent reporting leads to better working conditions and training.

Streamline your incident reporting system

Your incident reporting system should make it simple for your employees to record all of the details specified in the incident report samples above. You are more likely to collect reliable, timely information if your incident forms are simple to fill out in the field.

While an incident report can be completed on paper, several businesses are now turning to software to not only track and store incidents, but also to track potential problems and identify safety gaps.

The incident report form of CloudApper Safety can be completed on-site using the iOS or Android app. It includes sections for recording incident information, photographs of the scene, and witness statements. It also enables you to identify related risks and pinpoint a root cause.

Users of the CloudApper Safety application can operate on the go and track multiple sites from any place. Employees can use the powerful mobile app to assign work orders, complete work tasks, receive feedback, and much more!

Go Ahead and Report

When preparing incident reports, your primary aim should be to improve workplace safety rather than to point fingers at who is to blame. The incident report examples given demonstrate that by sticking to the evidence, you can encourage employee involvement in your investigations.

Digital reporting automates a majority of the operation, saving you time and reducing human error. Improve the incident reporting process by using a digital reporting platform, such as the CloudApper Safety application, which combines warnings and hazard resolution in a specific system.

Ready to explore the paperless way of incident reporting with CloudApper Safety? Get started free!

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Posted - 04/29/2021