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4 Types of Incident Reports

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July 21, 2021

4 Minutes


     Dina Adlouni

Dina is the resident Content Writer at EcoOnline North America . When she’s not writing about health and safety, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of tea while watching her favorite sitcom.

Incident reports are vital to creating a safer work environment, as they help EHS professionals pinpoint areas of improvement in an organization’s safety program based on the incidents which occur on-site. This will help leaders work towards creating a proactive, fact-based safety strategy. With the right process in place to report on incidents you can protect more workers and make sure they go home safely at the end of each day. 

Before we learn the types of incident reports, let’s start at the very beginning. 

What is an Incident Report? 

An incident report is a document where safety professionals, like a supervisor, record an event which may or may not have caused harm to an individual or company property or equipment. Whether a near miss or sentinel events, such occurrences must be recorded to work towards strengthening your safety approach and mitigating injuries and illnessesThink of these reports as a tool to bring you closer to pinpointing opportunities to improve your safety program, helping you create a safer place to work 

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What Should be Included in an Incident Report? 

Details about the incident or adverse event must be included within this report, such as the location, data and time, who or what was affected, what action was being carried out, etc.  

Take a look at the figure below to learn more: 

Types of Incidents to Report On

There are various types of incidents which you can chose to report on while on the worksite. Bear in mind these incidents should be reported as soon as they occur, to mitigate risks efficiently and protect workers quickly.  

The 4 main incident reports that should be on your list are:  

1. Near Miss Reports

Near misses are events where no one was injured, but given a slight change in timing or action, someone could have been. Because of this, it’s important for safety professionals to report such events to help put corrective actions in place so no one faces such a potential risk in the future. This will help keep all workers safe while on site.  

At times, workers may feel hesitant to report on such issues for fear of getting in trouble, but it is essential for safety managers to encourage everyone to report such incidents. Environments where workers are encouraged to voice their concerns and give feedback are ones which are safer and more secure. Check out some Construction Safety Meeting Topics you can start to include in your next session, so all workers are aware of best practices.  

2. Injury and Lost Time Incident Report

This type of incident report is for recording any injury which has resulted in lost time. Injuries can occur on-site when certain precautions are not taken, PPE is not worn, or other variables beyond our control come into play. These incidents must be reported immediately, to take necessary corrective measures and lower the potential for such an event happening again.  

Similar to what was mentioned above, here are just some of the things to include in your report:  

  • Date and time 
  • Location 
  • Person who was injured 
  • Description of incident and injury 
  • Possible root causes  
  • Actions implemented after the incident 

To learn more about Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate and how to reduce it, read our blog on the subject. 

3. Exposure Incident Report

Exposure to harmful chemicals or substances may occur while on the worksite such as asbestos, carbon monoxide, COVID-19, and more. Safety professionals should report such incidents quickly to help keep others safe from harm.  

With the pandemic in mind, keeping workers aware of any exposure which may have occurred can prevent a possible outbreak and keep them more vigilant. Read more about how one of our customers was able to keep all workers safe from COVID-19 

4. Sentinel Event Report

Sentinel events are extreme events which result in death or serious permanent injury. These events are unexpected and can include occurrences such as natural disasters, illness outbreaks, slips, trips and falls, struck bys, etc. These events must be reported to strengthen your safety program and take the steps needed to implement specific actions to protect workers, in the event such unpredictable events happen again.  

Incident reports are vital to creating a safer place to work for your employees. We want to help you stay proactive and create a healthier, safer, and stronger work environment. Explore our suite of safety solutions by filling out the form below or speaking to one of our safety experts to learn more.  

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