Most businesses have procedures in place to ensure safe workplaces for their teams. They perform risk assessments and produce regular maintenance reports to make sure work surfaces, equipment, and commercial vehicles are safe to use. However, accidents still happen. When they do, it is essential to document the details to prevent them from happening again. Most business owners and managers do this by creating a work incident report. Let’s take a closer look at what an effective work incident report should look like.
What is a Work Incident Report?
A work incident report is a form used to document all accidents and incidents that happen in the workplace. This form will provide space to explain how, when, where, and why an incident occurred. If an accident leaves an employee unable to work, proper reporting and documentation of the accident may be required for them to begin collecting benefits.
Create a custom work incident report with Device Magic. Learn how!
When Should I File a Work Incident Report?
A work incident report should be filed as soon as an accident occurs. Timeliness matters, because waiting too long after an incident can make it difficult to remember the details of the event. Filling out a report as soon as an accident happens allows you to collect and document any necessary evidence.
If the incident leaves an employee unable to work and in need of disability or unemployment benefits, the sooner the incident is reported, the faster the employee can start taking advantage of worker’s comp benefits.
What to Include in a Work Incident Report
Your work incident report should be customized for the specific risks and incidents that are most common in your business. While all work incident reports are a little different, most of them will include these six things:
Location of the Incident
The first part of your form should identify where the incident took place. This can start with a broad description (the warehouse) and then be narrowed down to a more specific area (Aisle B). Understanding where the incident happened will help prevent similar events in the same location.
Date & Time
The next part of the document should identify when the incident happened. The more specific you can be, the better. Did this happen during a busy time? Before or after work? On the weekends? This information provides more insight into the cause of the problem and can help your team be more aware of risks that can happen during this time period.
If you notice multiple incidents are happening around the same time, you can look into modifying processes or procedures during this time to reduce risks.
One of the most important parts of a work incident report is documenting who was involved. This includes the person who was involved as well as any witnesses to the event. There should also be space to document who was supervising or managing at the time and anyone else that was present. If anyone was called to the scene, like emergency services, they should be included in the incident report as well.
Once the who, when, and where of the incident are identified, there should be free space to elaborate on the details of the incident. Since the location and time of the incident have already been covered in the above sections, this space can be reserved for the small details that happened before, during, and after the event.
Follow Up Action
A work incident report has many purposes. One of them is to prevent future accidents from happening. Once the details of the incident are documented, be sure to include a space where managers and supervisors can list any follow-up actions. This can help to create a plan to prevent the same kind of incident from happening again in the future.
Here are some examples of incident follow up actions:
- The warehouse was equipped with better lighting so workers had increased visibility
- Personal protective equipment was added to the workspace
- The faulty machine was removed from the workspace
- The team was trained on proper lifting techniques
- New signs were posted in hazard zones
- A job safety analysis was performed to identify other possible workplace accidents
A work incident report is not complete unless there are steps put in place to avoid similar accidents.
The final part of a comprehensive work incident report is a space for a list of witnesses and signatures of everyone involved. This helps anyone reading the report know exactly who was responsible for filing the report and makes it easy to identify the people to go to if there are any questions about the event. If the incident requires legal action, signed documentation will be necessary to move forward with worker’s comp benefits or insurance claims.
Tips to Complete a Detailed Work Inspection Report
Things can get hectic when there is an accident in the workplace, which is why it is important to have a custom incident report document created and ready to use. Trying to create this document in the middle of chaos can lead to missed information and incomplete documentation. Some tips to writing a detailed work inspection report include:
- Take immediate action. As soon as you’re aware of the incident, access the work inspection report and start filling it out with all of the facts that you have.
- Collect data. If you were involved in the incident, you probably have enough details to get started on the form. If you were not directly involved, it is important to quickly gather data from reliable sources to get the facts and rule out misinformation or hearsay.
- Analyze and follow up. Once the form is thoroughly filled out, you can sit down with your team and analyze each section of the report. Work together to come up with a follow-up plan that will reduce the chance of a similar accident happening again.
Create Custom Incident Reports with Device Magic
If something happens in your workplace, it is your responsibility to document it correctly and do your part to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Device Magic allows you to easily create custom incident reports for your mobile devices, which can be completed in the field and store data for easy sharing. The next time an incident happens in your business, be prepared.