What is an incident report form?
An incident form is a tool used to raise a concern or start an investigation about an event that may or may not have resulted in bodily injuries or damage to company property. This form documents the events and identifies the parties involved, the cause of the incident, and the resulting damages incurred.
Companies can be made aware of potential employee misconducts, uncontrolled hazards at the site, security breaches, and safety issues through a workplace incident report form. The overarching goal of filing an incident report form is to start an investigation to identify the root cause of the incident and establish corrective actions to prevent similar events from happening again in the future.
Any of the following can use an incident report form:
- A workplace authority (i.e., supervisor, manager)
- A worker who witnessed an incident
- Any member of the organization who wishes to raise awareness about a specific incident
In this article, the following points are explained:
1. When you should report an incident
2. Who conducts an incident report?
3. Incident report: facts on insurance issues & legal regulations:
4. Essential information you should include in your report
5. How to write an incident report
6. 4 tips on how to write an incident report
7. How to create an incident report in minutes
When should you report an incident?
The rule of thumb is to treat all serious accidents and incidents with utmost urgency, especially injuries, as these can lead to major health issues. Generally, any event or situation that falls under any of these four descriptions should be reported as soon as possible.
- Sentinel Events: An unanticipated incident resulting in serious physical or psychological injury or death. Sentinel events include slips, falls, vehicular accidents, natural disasters, harmful chemical leakages, or disease outbreaks.
- Near Misses: Commonly referred to as a “close call.” Although it did not result in any bodily injury, property damage, or operational interruptions, this is an unplanned event that had the potential to cause it.
- Adverse Events: Typically relating to medicine, this happens when a patient suffers from injuries or death through an administered drug or medical practice rather than from their existing illness or condition.
- No Harm Events: Pertains to situations or events that must be communicated throughout the organization to prevent risks and accidents.
It is also worth noting that one good practice is to ensure that authorities or safety officials are fully aware of the different incidents that have been reported. This is so they can monitor and implement workplace safety practices at all times.
Who conducts an incident report?
The incident report should be signed by the person writing it. It is also imperative to stamp the report with the date & time. In addition, all parties involved or injured and any witnesses should sign. Even if the insurance company won't be involved in the case, the accident should still be documented as it can serve as a reference point to implement corrective actions and prevent future accidents. Still, an investigator or team of investigators should deal with it, i.e., evaluate and analyze the available data to establish and implement causes or corrective measures and regularly check compliance with them. The responsible team should be appropriately trained or informed in matters of health and safety at work.
Incident report: facts on insurance issues & legal regulations:
- For the insurance company, a claim is deemed to exist if it occurs as a result of an insured activity , e.g. slipping in the company building.
- As a general rule, all accidents should be reported that cause more than three days absence (including the day of the accident).
- Fatal accidents must also be reported.
- Road accidents : Accidents on the way to and from work and back home must also be reported and are covered by insurance.
- The statutory accident insurance is covered by the professional associations .
- The accident is reported to the employer's liability insurance association by the employer
Essential information you should include in your report
A good incident report sample is factual and comprehensive, bearing all necessary information to paint an accurate picture that can help authorities conduct analysis, identify the root cause - often with the help of a root cause analysis template - and implement appropriate action plans.
Here are the different types of information that should be included in your documentation of the incident report form:
- General information: This should contain the essential information needed to conduct the investigation. Typically, this should include the who, what, when, and where of the incident:
Injuries: This should enumerate the different types of injuries, their severity, and the affected body parts.
Witnesses: This should narrate the statements of all individuals who were present when the incident occurred.
Treatments: This should indicate any first-aid treatments or medications that were administered to the affected people.
Property and equipment damages: This should list any physical assets or facilities damaged in the incident.
Behaviors: This should detail the behavior and motion of the individuals involved at the exact time the incident happened.
- Who was involved? This should include the names, title, position, and department.
- What happened? Indicate an accurate description of the events that transpired.
- When did it happen? Time and date should be included.
- Where did it happen? Indicate the specific location. If any physical and environmental conditions or potential hazards have contributed to the incident, those should be included as well.
What does not belong in the incident report?
- Speculative statements that are not verifiable
- Consequences of diseases which have not yet been diagnosed by a doctor
- Too many filler words and adjectives— keep it factual
How to write an incident report
The rule of thumb when it comes to writing an incident report is to use a third-person point of view to best reflect objectivity, including only facts and omitting any personal opinions or biases.
The format for a sample incident report form will essentially have four parts. They are as follows:
- Introduction: This is where the general information should be detailed and an overview of the incident summarized in no more than three sentences.
- Body: All relevant information on the incident should be included in the body. Discuss what happened from start to finish accurately and detail the events in chronological order with non-bias, objective facts included. Nothing should be left out.
- Conclusion: This should indicate the resolution and outcomes of the incident. Was it resolved? What were the outcomes? If it wasn’t resolved, elaborate on the challenges and provide the action plans that should be done to resolve them.
- Signature: The incident report form should be furnished with the full name and signature of the writer and someone from upper management for documentation and accountability. This will guarantee that all information indicated on the report is valid and unquestionable.
4 tips on how to write an incident report
Writing the accident report and recording events in the form of a report should be practiced. With the following 4 tips you can start writing immediately and purposefully:
1. Be precise
You should phrase relevant data clearly and as accurately as possible. Be sure to check the document for spelling or grammatical errors and have it proofread.
2. Be factual
Your incident report should be worded objectively, reflecting the main facts of the incident. There should be no room for embellishment or biased statements. If there are differing statements from the parties involved and witnesses, these should always be recorded as quotations.
3. Add evidence
If there are photographs of the accident site or other relevant evidence of the accident, these should be included in the report.
4. Don't forget to sign the document!
All parties involved in the incident (the person affected as well as the claimants, witnesses, record keepers, etc.) must sign the document to confirm and validate the incident report.
Create a digital incident report form in just minutes
Manually collecting incident details and putting up a report from scratch is tedious and highly inefficient. These days, pen-and-paper methods are minimal if not obsolete — incident reports are no different. Replacing manual incident report forms with a paperless digital solution provides a handful of benefits that can improve efficiency, promote accessibility, foster accountability, and increase safety measures in your workplace.
Lumiform provides you exactly this and more. Instead of writing one up from scratch, opt for our ready-made, customizable report templates that you can download on your phone and access any time of the day with or without the internet so you can always access valuable information when you need to.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Using Lumiform’s report app will also give you access to the following benefits:
- Use the intuitive mobile app to record the events of the incident on the spot and create your incident report form in minutes by choosing from our 9,000 ready-made templates.
- Consolidate all witness statements and supporting documents all in one place, so your data is conveniently bundled in one report.
- Generate real-time data with just a click of a button so you can share it with authorities for faster investigation and better record-keeping.
- Minimize margins for error with a simple, easy-to-use app that everyone on your team can access. No Excel or Word know-how is required, just fill the fields in, and you’re good to go.