Incident Report

Document the details of an incident following step-by-step instructions and create an incident report.

What is an incident report?

An incident report is a tool for documenting an incident that may have caused damage to a person or to the assets of a company. It is used to record injuries and accidents, near misses, damage to property and equipment, health and safety issues, safety violations and workplace misconduct.

Writing an incident report means recording the basic conditions of an incident and then analysing and evaluating the damage caused. It contains the root cause and corrective actions to eliminate the associated risks and prevent similar incidents in the future. An incident report can also be used as a safety document that points out a potential risk or uncontrolled hazard in your workplace.

An incident report is used by:

  • Government agencies to prepare an incident report

  • Employees to report an incident of which he/she has been a witness

  • Members of a company to raise awareness of an incident in the workplace

In the process of documenting all workplace injuries, including near misses. This article explains in detail what an incident report is and what types of incidents you should report.

What is considered an incident?

An incident that should be reported is an event that:

  • Causes an incident or impairment to your company or employees

  • Causes a substantial risk which affects members within your organisation

  • Has an impact on systems and the operation of workplaces

  • Attracts negative media attention

What kind of incidents should be reported?

As a rule of thumb, an incident report should be prepared as soon as an incident occurs. It is of great importance to treat minor injuries just as seriously as major ones. The reason for that is that these injuries can get worse and lead to more serious health problems. Employers, managers and safety representatives should be informed of the various situations and incidents.

4 types of incidents you should report:

  • Sentinel incidents - These are unexpected events that can lead to serious injury (e.g., slips, trips and falls, natural disasters, vehicle accidents, outbreaks of illness, etc.).

  • Near-collisions - situations in which the persons involved have not been injured but could potentially have been harmed by the risks identified.

  • Adverse events - incidents which are related to medicine, vaccines and medical equipment. These events occur when an act or omission of an act has harmed a patient.

  • Non-harming events - these are incidents that need to be communicated within a company to raise awareness of potential risk.

5 elements for an event report as an example

This is what you should be aware of when writing an incident report:

1. Be specific


All data must be clearly and specifically recorded. Most inaccuracies are due to typing errors and simple grammar and spelling mistakes (e.g. incorrect information on the names of the persons involved, date and time of the incident, contact numbers, etc.). Be more specific about what you are referring to and avoid vague statements that could lead to confusion. Finally, you should always have your report proofread before submitting it to avoid mistakes.

2. Know your facts

Be objective when writing a report and support the information you put forth by facts. Avoid including emotional, biased statements in the incident report form. It should never shed one-sided light on an incident. However, if there is a need to include testimony from witnesses or patients, it is important that it be marked as a citation.

3. Complete gaps

Ensure that all key issues (what, where, when, why and how) are addressed in the incident report form. Talk not only to the person concerned, but also to witnesses, persons who reported the incident and, if necessary, to the treating paramedics or similar. Expect that the details will be used for future studies and investigations.

4. Prepare evidence


Evidence is a substantial part of your documentation. Include photos, diagrams etc. in your report as supporting evidence. Take as many photos as possible of the injury, the damage and the surroundings. This will supplement the facts given and make them more understandable.

5. Add digital signatures

Once the incident has been completed, those involved in the incident (e.g. victims, witnesses, managers, reporters, etc.) should sign to testify and confirm any information mentioned in the incident report.

What should be done after an incident report form is completed?

Once your incident report is ready, you should submit it to an investigation team. An investigation should be conducted by those responsible for collecting and analysing information and evidence from the incident report. Those attending the investigation should be familiar with the fundamentals of occupational health and safety.

It should not be the aim of your documentation to find faults, but to identify the root of the problem and develop corrective actions to prevent other incidents. An investigation also helps meet regulatory requirements (such as OSHA forms) and determines the costs associated with property or equipment damage (if any).

Streamline the recording of incident reports

An incident report template should be properly retained as they are an important record of any organisation. Creating incident reports can be time-consuming and requires strict documentation of the incident. Lumiform helps your organisation streamline the completion and recording of an incident report using a template. With the Lumiform mobile app and software, you can:

  • Create paperless an incident report template on your smartphone

  • Take unlimited evidence photos and add them to the report

  • Record witness statements with the dictation function

  • Capturing electronic signatures

  • Capture detailed incident reports without leaving the site

  • Store unlimited data in your cloud

Featured templates

Event Risk Assessment

Event Risk Assessment

Make a detailed assessment of the events with this template. See template

Significant Event Audit

Significant Event Audit

Use this template to investigate, review and learn from a single event. See template

Event Incident Report Form

Event Incident Report Form

This form can be used to report incidents that occurred during an event. See template