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What Steps Should Be Taken During Incident Reporting?

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on April 1, 2022 at 2:35 PM

For any business, it’s critical for employees to share whenever there is an accident or a close call. Of course, there is a science to incident reporting that should be followed closely. If employers and their workers take the right steps when reporting safety accidents, they can be addressed the right way and it’ll be easier to prevent similar accidents in the future.

Let’s go through the steps that need to be taken during incident reporting to make sure that issues are properly addressed.

Provide Medical Treatment

Obviously, the first thing to do after an accident is to get someone the appropriate medical attention. The health and well-being of employees always come first. If anyone was hurt in the accident, no matter how minor those injuries might be, make sure they are being taken care of before doing anything else

Look Over the Scene

Once the immediate safety of all employees is taken care of, the first step in incident reporting is to look over the scene. Try to preserve the scene of the accident as it is rather than restarting production. Carefully examine the scene for any factors that could have contributed to the accident that may not be obvious. Was there a lighting or noise issue? Was there a spill that hadn’t been cleaned up? Every detail matters, so make sure you look at every facet of where the accident took place.

Speak with Witnesses

A good incident report will have as many witness statements as possible. It’s best to conduct these interviews as soon as possible while the events are still fresh in the minds of everyone involved or anyone who may have seen something. Try to ask open-ended questions so that witnesses go into as much detail as possible and make sure they know that you are trying to gather information rather than assign blame. The best information about the accident will likely come from witness interviews, so take this process seriously. 

Report to the Authorities

In some instances, it’ll be required to report an accident to a regulatory agency, especially if there were employees injured. The more serious the accident, the more likely you are to report it to the authorities. Of course, the more details you can give them, the better, which is why you want to speak to as many witnesses as possible first.

Determine the Cause

An incident report should have enough information to at least make an educated guess as to the cause of the accident. It’s possible to get outside help with this part if there isn’t a clear idea. There could also be multiple factors contributing to the accident that should all be mentioned in the report.

Fix the Problem

If you can pin down the root cause of the accident, the most important step is to fix the issue. This is the ultimate goal of doing an incident report in the first place. That’s why you want to examine the accident scene and speak to as many people as possible. With any safety matter, the more information you collect, the easier it’ll be to fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Stay Ahead with Software

The best way to stay ahead of all safety issues and prevent accidents in the first place is to use safety management software like the system offered by EHS Insight. Our software can streamline all matters related to workplace health and safety. It’s a proven method of reducing the frequency of accidents and making everything more organized when managing occupational health and safety.

If you’re hoping to create a safer work environment with fewer accidents, let’s have a conversation about how our software can make that happen.

Topics: Workplace Health and Safety, Risk Management, Incident Management

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