How to build a good incident report?

Table of Contents

Incident reporting is the process of documenting all workplace injuries, near misses and accidents. It should be completed at the time an incident happens. What is an incident? It is any event, condition or situation that originates disruption or interference to an organization; causes important risks that could affect members, systems and operations in the workplace.

What is an incident report?

An incident report is a tool that records any event that may cause injuries to a person or damage to a company asset. It should include near misses, property and equipment damage, health and safety affairs, security breaches and workplace misconduct.
Incident reports could be used to uncover potential risks and hazards in the workplace and to raise awareness about this issue. That is why it is important to add an analysis of causes and effects of any incident in order to avert similar ones in the future.

What type of incidents should be reported?

The rule of thumb is that as soon as an incident occurs, an incident report should be completed. Minor injuries should be reported and taken as equally important as major injuries are. These injuries may get worse and lead to more serious injuries or health issues.

How to write a good incident report?

An incident report should explain the most relevant information about accidents or near miss and to be clear and informative it should be:

  • Accurate

All the information included in the report should be clear, specific and detailed. Any ambiguous statements may produce confusion and lead you to take bad decisions.

  • Specific

A good incident report should cover all essential questions (what, where, when, why and how), details about the people who were injured and possible causes of the accident. It should also include details such as people who witnessed and reported the incident.

  • Should include graphic material

Photos, diagrams and illustrations could be used as supporting evidence because they provide more accuracy about the incident.

Incident reports apps

Your staff must be able to submit incidents as they occur. Incident report apps are far more effective than paper forms because they enable real time capture of incidents through photos, and statements about the incident at the time of occurrence. Incident reporting apps allow workers to report incidents in real time, therefore, team members receive live notifications and escalations.

Advantages of using incident reports apps

  • It makes easy to report incidents

Using incident report apps, workers can report them in real time and make sure the right people are notified straight away. Incidents such as injuries, security breaches, property damage, safety observations and hazards can all be reported easily and efficiently from the app.

  • Customizable incident designer

No two industries or work sites are the same. Using mobile apps to create incident reports, allow you to customize your own forms as you need them. Form customization is relevant to suit any specific industry requirements and helps to ensure that you are reporting exactly what you have to do, in the format your business requires.

  • Multimedia tools

To ensure that you capture everything required to fully report an inspection finding, damage, or other incident, incident reporting mobile apps give you the opportunity to add audio, video, and images to your reports which could be very helpful for insurance purposes.

  • Offline capabilities

If you’re out in the field, sometimes network connectivity may be weak or non-existent. Using incident reporting apps, you can catch and report an incident from anywhere, at any time. Just enter it into the system, and when you’re back on the network or Internet, the information will be shared will automatically. This helps eradicate redundant work and reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to field incidents.

  • Improve safety culture

An incident reporting app can be used to increase employee engagement in safety. To be successful, a safety and health program needs a significant participation of workers, who are, usually, the best positioned to identify safety and health concerns, such as workplace hazards, unsafe conditions, near misses, and actual incidents.
Providing employees an easy-to-use incident reporting app to communicate safety concerns such as incidents, hazards and near misses improves employee engagement and sets up a safety culture within the organization. By encouraging incident reporting, a company can excel safety culture because employers can address issues before incidents occur.

  • Cross-platform compatibility

Incident reports apps allow you to create any type of incident or inspection report from your laptop, iPhone, Android device, or tablet, in a fast and simple way so, you can share data via text, email, the cloud, or through your existing networks.
DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.

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About the author

Sandra Melo
Sandra Melo

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