Incident Report in the Workplace – How to Make One

An incident report is a document that is filled out after an incident has occurred in the workplace. The report is used to provide information about the incident, as well as to track any injuries or damages that may have resulted from it. Incident reports should be filed as soon as possible after the incident occurs and should be thorough and accurate. Incidents can vary from minor accidents to more serious ones, so it’s important to have a process in place for reporting them. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of what occurred and can take steps to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Near Miss Events

However, incident reports should not only be made when accidents actually happen. It should also be made in cases of near-miss events. A near-miss event is anything that happens in the workplace that could have resulted in an injury or worse. These events can be major or minor, but they all have the potential to cause harm. They can be caused by faulty equipment, negligence, or simply bad luck. If you work in a hazardous environment, it’s important to be aware of these events and take steps to prevent them from happening.

NFIRS and its Live Incident List

Incidents in the workplace could also go as big and damaging as fires. All the more that it needs to be reported. In the US, for example, while not mandatory, it is highly recommended to report these types of incidents with the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). NFIRS is a system used by fire departments to track and report fires and other incidents. The system is used to collect data on fires and other emergencies, including the type of incident, cause, damage, and injuries. It also has a live incident list that provides up-to-date information on fires reported to NFIRS where a user can filter the results by state, date, and type of incident.

Questions you need to answer

Whatever type of incident happened, you only have to answer these questions for a more detailed report:

  1. The date and time of the incident
  2. Location where the incident occurred (i.e., floor number)
  3. Name of the incident
  4. Detailed description of incident including major events leading up to incident and any additional relevant information. 
  5. What was the cause of the incident? What was it made of and how long had it been there for?
  6. Who was involved? (i.e., managers, employees, customers)
  7. Why did the incident occur? (if known)
  8. Whether or not an injury occurred and if so, what kind? How many people were affected and what kind of injuries did they sustain? How severe were the injuries compared to the initial impact that initiated them? Did they require medical attention or hospitalization? 
  9. How long did the incident take to resolve?
  10. Was the incident investigated by any other team/department? If so, who are they and whose report was being followed?
  11. What actions were taken as a result of the incident? (i.e., new policies or procedures implemented, preventative measures taken following the incident)
  12. Author(s) of incident report
  13. Name of person reporting incident (if different than author)
  14. Date created
  15. Authorized department to receive incident report
  16. Conclusion or final remarks/actions that can be taken now that the incident is over


Incident Report Example

Companies normally have their own forms that must be used when filing incident reports. In the unfortunate event that you have to prepare one, make sure to use the official form of your workplace.


Include photos or videos

You may also need to include photos or video footage of the event if you have them available. If there were any witnesses, they should also include their own statements regarding what occurred so more than one person’s account is present in case someone forgets details later down the road. You don’t want to rely on only one person’s account of an event when a company or an insurance company is going to need as much information as possible about what happened.

Make everyone aware

Also, make sure everyone involved in the incident is aware of what needs to go into it so there won’t be any confusion or conflicting statements later on. Ensure that the incident report format is standardized across your organization for uniformity of documentation.

Anyone involved in the incident should also list what caused the incident as well as how it happened whether that be on purpose or by chance. This can provide first responders with insight into the incident itself as well as an idea of how to handle future incidents involving those same people, premises, or products. In addition, those affected by the incident should also make note of their injuries as well as what kind of treatment they received and who to. This section should also include information such as return to work status, whether or not the incident caused injuries that needed long-term management, and how the incident affected their ability to perform tasks required for the job.

Incident Reports should provide insights

Finally, incident reports provide insight into the incident itself and how it happened, but most importantly they help prevent future incidents from occurring by providing insight into security practices used at your workplace. This information can help identify where improvements need to be made in order to better protect against similar incidents occurring in the future.

As you can see, it’s important that any incidents that occur in the workplace are documented and reported. If you need any help in doing such types of reports, Venngage is the perfect tool to help you do just that. Check it out now!


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