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Incident Report Guide - Best Practices

Level up your incident reports by using 2021's ultimate incident report guide.

What is the purpose of an incident report?

Every accident is one too much - everyone agrees on that. And yet there are causes of accidents that recur all the time. In this guide all facts and best practices about the accident report are explained in details. Learn how to prepare it correctly in order to forward it to the competent authorities, clarify insurance issues and take corrective measures.

An incident report is used to document an accident that has caused damage to a person or to your company's operations. On the one hand, it is used internally, i.e. to substantiate health and safety problems through concrete case studies and incidents and externally report safety violations to the employers' liability insurance association and insurance companies.

This article deals with the following questions and topics:

1. Incident report: facts on insurance issues & legal regulations:

2. Who conducts an incident report?

3. 6 aspects of an incident report

4. 4 tips on how to write an incident report

5. A digital solution to perform an ultimate incident report

6. Final thoughts on the incident report guide

Our tip:

Conduct this checklist easily and digitally via mobile app and save 50% of your inspection time. Try for free now

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

Who conducts an incident report?

The incident report should be signed by the person writing it. It is also indispensable to record the time of the report with date & time. In addition, all parties involved or injured and any witnesses should sign. Even if there is no case for the insurance company, the accident should not just be recorded. 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.

6 Aspects of an incident report

For the incident report, all facts in chronological order are primarily relevant. The following questions should be clarified in the report objectively and to the point :

  • What happened when?
  • Where did the accident happen?
  • How did it come about?
  • Who was involved?
  • Who are the witnesses?
  • What are the consequences of the accident?

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 decorations, keep it rather factual

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.

A digital solution to perform an ultimate incident report

Incident reports usually involve a lot of bureaucracy: they take up space because they have to be stored and take up a lot of time. Lumiform helps you and your company to easily create and log an incident report. With the Lumiform mobile app and software, you can create paperless accident reports on your smartphone anytime, anywhere and back them up with evidence (such as photos of the accident scene).

For the evaluation of the company's health and safety policy, you can rely on the automatic report, which summarizes all incidents in a bundle and collects electronic signatures from all parties involved. With the help of our free templates, you can start immediately and adapt them to the needs of your company.

Final thoughts on the incident report guide:

  • An incident report is used to record an accident, to clarify insurance matters when damage has occurred and to achieve sustainable and proactive risk minimization within the company.
  • Not only accidents at work, but also those occurring on the way to and from work are insured, these are so-called commuting accidents.
  • The report should be written factually and precisely , i.e. it should cover all the W-questions and leave out any embellishments.

Featured templates

Accident Report Template

Accident Report Template

Use this accident report template for the first aid report and subsequent evaluation. Describe the accident and record the statements of witnesses. See template

Accident Incident Report Form

Accident Incident Report Form

Use this accident incident report form to write a complete accident report. See template

Construction Accident Incident Report Template

Construction Accident Incident Report Template

Use this template to automatically generate a construction accident or site incident report. See template

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