What is an Incident Report Template?
An incident report template is a tool used to document any event that may or may not have caused injury, illness, and property and equipment damage in the workplace or worksite. It is crucial for an incident report form to be filled out at the time the incident occurs for an accurate recount of events. Information recorded in an incident report form is used to investigate the root cause. Identifying the root cause will help in establishing the appropriate control measures to prevent the recurrence of the same incident.
Why is it Important to Write an Incident Report?
A good incident report should state all the essential information about the accident or near-miss. Having incident reports is essential for documentation, ensuring safety in the workplace, and managing hazards and risks to employees.
Following this, templating your forms can help streamline this process, as using the same formatted document can save time and make it easier to document injuries, incidents, and hazards. Using a premade templated incident report form and having it easily accessible is important in identifying and understanding what caused the incident and how to prevent it from recurring. It also helps those involved in the incident to report what happened, as the incident report template will prompt them to recount the event in a concise and detailed manner.
Types of Incident Reporting
Here are two types of incident reporting that can help you create a more comprehensive report: list type and narrative type. See the following to know more about them:
List-type reporting enables users to enumerate all the relevant information in a straight-to-the-point approach. An advantage to this kind of incident reporting is that it allows reporters to emphasize the key observations they have for the incident. Here is the most vital information that you need to collect for the incident report using this type of reporting.
- Type of incident
- Names of affected people
- Immediate Supervisor
- Statement of the affected people
- Context of the event
- The motion of the affected people during the incident
- Injuries, severity, and treatment
- Hazards identified
- The root cause of the event
Narrative reporting, on the other hand, involves documenting events in a descriptive or storytelling manner. While it should remain comprehensive by adding key information similar to list-type reporting, the difference lies in how the essential details are presented and communicated.
The primary goal of narrative reporting is to provide a thorough account of the event, beginning from its start and ending with its conclusion. This includes capturing the sequence of events, relevant context, and any contributing factors or observations. Typically, the report concludes with a paragraph outlining the actions taken to address the identified issues and prevent their recurrence.
By incorporating storytelling elements, narrative reporting can make the information more relatable and easier to grasp. However, it’s important to strike a balance between narrative elements and objective data.
Including factual information such as dates, times, locations, and specific actions is crucial to maintaining accuracy and credibility in the report. Additionally, analysis, recommendations, and lessons learned should be included to support ongoing improvements in incident management.
Injury Incident Report Examples
The following are a few real-life examples of incident reporting in different aspects of workplaces:
General Incident Report Sample
“On Monday morning, September 4, 2020, at 7 a.m. in Cehenna Express. located in 5th Avenue, Pandemonium, one of the warehouse staff (Harvey Kinkle) slipped while transferring a piece of 95-lbs equipment to a nearby stock room. Upon further analysis, the root cause of the incident is believed to be the wet flooring due to a leaking water tank in the same location. Adding the fact that Harvey has poor vision, he carried the load himself without seeing the water on the floor.
When Harvey fell, his colleague, Nick, who is about to enter the warehouse, heard a nearby bang that urges him to check what happened. Nick quickly ran to help Harvey. After reporting the incident to the shift supervisor, Mary Wardwell, they decided to call the Pandemonium hospital for an ambulance. Harvey said his head fell badly to the ground when he lost his balance, causing severe headaches, although there was no blood from his injuries.
Harvey was admitted to the Pandemonium General Hospital and a skull fracture was confirmed. Harvey will be out of work for 2 months.
The supervisor is currently working with the safety personnel (Edward Spellman) to evaluate the condition of the floor, the location and condition of the water tanks on the floor, and the lighting systems installed. Also, an eye medical test will be administered to all Cehenna Express staff.”
Forklift Accident Report Sample – Trucking
“During the night shift in a busy logistics yard, a temporary employee working as a forklift operator was asked to move some metal aircraft pallets (weighing about 1.5T) into the storage area. They were stacked in an unstable manner and the supervisor requested that they were stacked properly before moving them. The forklift operator started to use the forks of the vehicle to position the aircraft pallets by nudging them with the forks. This operation tangled the netting on the aircraft pallet making it challenging to reuse. The Supervisor came across and asked the forklift operator to slightly lift the top four aircraft pallets so that he could reach underneath them to retrieve the netting.
Whilst the aircraft pallet was elevated and the supervisor had their arm between the pallets the top four aircraft pallets started to slip and trapped the supervisor’s arm between them (under approx 800Kg). The Shift manager saw what was happening and came across to release the supervisor’s arm.
An ambulance was called and whilst at the hospital it was determined that the supervisor’s right arm radius was broken and significant damage to tendons in the right hand. He was off sick from work for two weeks and returned on light duties. The Shift manager removed the forklift operator from the business and he was not to be rehired again.
The H&S manager investigated the accident using CCTV footage from the yard and witness statements from those also working in the yard. The root cause was determined to be a lack of risk management as the task of retrieving netting was known to be a common issue but not communicated to management. It was also identified that the temporary employee was not provided a safety induction or forklift familiarization course.”
Fall Incident Report Sample – Construction
“Whilst working as part of the roofing crew on a large residential project, the apprentice was required to climb the 8-meter-high scaffolding to retrieve some tools from the roof at the end of his shift. He put the tools in a bucket and started to climb down with the bucket in his hand. He thought it would be faster to climb the outside of the scaffolding rig. As he climbed onto the outside of the scaffolding, he lost his footing and fell 8 meters to the ground.
The roofing crew team leader called an ambulance as the first aider attempted to revive him. The apprentice was in a coma for three months and after a lengthy period in therapy was eventually able to walk with aids. He was unable to work in the construction industry as a result of his injuries.
The H&S manager investigated the accident using witness statements from the roofing crew and a review of site documentation. The root cause was determined to be lack of adequate supervision and poor communication of safety site rules.”
Hand Injury Incident Report Sample – Manufacturing
“During the August maintenance shutdown of a plastics factory, a skilled maintenance team refurbish and overhaul the equipment to ensure the smooth efficiency of the machines.
At the start of the session, the maintenance team receives their toolbox talk regarding Lock Off Tag Out (LOTO) process. The team subsequently locks off the equipment they are working on.
The following morning a contracted electrician enters the building before the maintenance team and appears unable to carry out his work on the cutting machine because of the lock. He forcibly removed the lock to continue his work. When the maintenance team returned, they do not check the LOTO status and continued with their tasks. Whilst a team member is overhauling a section he removes the safety guard by the cutting blade, assuming the LOTO is still in place. Another member of the team is testing the operational electronics of the same machine and, not seeing a LOTO system in place, turns the machine on. The operator at the other end has four of her fingers on her right hand amputated by the blade.
It was not possible to reattach her fingers and when she finally returned to work, she was on office duties with an accommodated workstation.
The H&S manager investigated the accident using witness statements from the maintenance team and electrical contractor. The root cause was determined to be a lack of contractor approval because the contractor was not qualified to work on heavy machinery. It was also identified that the pre-start safety checks were not being completed.”
How Do You Write an Incident Report?
Systematically writing an incident report helps the reporter gather all the necessary details to make the incident report accurate, factual, and serve as an essential document for further investigation and analysis and preparation for more efficient preventive planning. Here are four steps on how to write a good incident report form:
- Know what information to collect – having the right knowledge of what information you need to include in your incident report will greatly help you with the gathering of data in the most efficient way. A checklist can be a helpful guide to avoid missing out on important details especially at times when you need to submit the incident report as soon as it is needed.
- Gather the most accurate and factual data – incident reports are documents of an actual event. Providing the most accurate and factual information is the topmost responsibility of the reporter. Opinions, biased statements, and vague information should be avoided.
- Provide more evidence as possible – to help strengthen the validity of the incident report, providing photos and illustrations will support the statements given by all the people involved in the event.
- Get signatures before completion – getting signatures from the affected people and witnesses confirms that the incident report is undoubtedly true.
What to Include in Your Incident Report Template
Different organizations have different ways of managing and reporting incidents depending on their standards. Generally, however, an incident report template has fields for the following:
- Name of the person preparing the report
- Names of the people involved in the incident
- Incident details such as:
- Date and time
- Description of incident
- Injury status, if any
- Status and condition of environment, if affected
- Cause of incident
- Photos related to incident
- Actions to take to ensure the incident does not happen again
FAQs about Incident Report Templates
The incident report template should be used by anyone who witnesses or is involved in an incident or accident. This includes employees, managers, supervisors, contractors, or anyone else part of the organization who may have important information related to the incident.
Going digital would be the way to create, manage, and fill up an incident report template. By going digital, you can reduce paper waste, improve reporting times, and ensure documentation processes are up to date as everything will be easily accessible.