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Tips for Incident Reporting

When an accident occurs in the workplace, your first thought usually isn’t how you are going to handle the paperwork. Hopefully, your first thought is making sure the accident victim receives proper medical attention. Once the initial chaos subsides, however, it is important to complete an incident report. In fact, Section 21 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requires employers complete an employer’s report of injury within 3 days of learning of the accident when it results in health care or lost time. 

Here are a few tips that will help you improve your incident reporting process:

Tip #1 – Be Prepared

Nobody wants accidents to occur, but when they do you need to have a process in place for reporting them – and everyone in the organization should know what that process is. Clearly communicate the incident reporting process to your entire team so that no one is left wonder what to do or what channels to go through when reporting an incident.

Tip #2 – Be Detailed

When completing an employer’s report, the individual making the report should be as detailed as possible. This usually involves asking the following questions: 

  • What happened?
  • When did the incident occur? (date, time, place)
  • Were there any witnesses? (If there were, try to get written and signed statements from each of them.)
  • Were there any environmental factors that contributed to the accident? (e.g. water on the floor, etc.)
  • What was the worker doing at the time the incident occurred? Was it part of their normal job duties?
  • Was the employee trained to do the task that they were doing?
  • What was the cause of the accident?
  • Was there any equipment involved?
  • What sort of treatment was administered after the accident?
  • What actions will be taken to prevent a reoccurrence?
  • Was there any time lost and if so, is there a return to work date?

Tip #3 – Communicate

Once you know the details of the accident and the employer’s report has been completed, there should be communication with the management team as well as everyone who was affected. Remember, events rarely happen in isolation and the same factors that led to one accident could potentially lead to another. 

These factors might be related to the need for more training in certain departments, safety culture or management process. 

Tip #4 – Take Action

Information that you gather from your investigation should be considered for future safety protocol. When you identify the root causes of the incident, you may be able to develop a plan to mitigate the risk of a similar event happening in the future. 

Tip #5 – Provide Feedback

The final step – and one that many employers forget – is to provide feedback to the person who originally reported the incident. Once the incident has been managed, it can be helpful to go back to the person who reported it and let them know what steps were taken (e.g. new training programs, investments in equipment, etc.)

When an employee knows that the report was valued and acted upon by management, they will be more likely to provide quality reports in the future. If they never hear back from you, they may think their actions didn’t matter and they may be less motivated to provide quality reports going forward.

If you would like to learn more, or if you would like assistance in developing your company’s incident reporting process, contact TeksMed today. 

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