Incident reports are essential assets in organizations of all sizes. It is important to employ effective procedures to get at the bottom of the specific problem quickly.
Apparently, however, to precisely capture the flow of events and avoid getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of numerous aspects involved, you need a meticulous recording system. In this comprehensive article, we are dedicated to up your understanding of incident report where we will unveil key insights regarding this vital document.
- What Is an Incident Report? Part 1
- Importance of an Incident Report Part 2
- 6 Key Elements of an Incident Report Part 3
- 3 Best Practices When Creating an Incident Report Part 4
- Sample Form of an Excellent Incident Report Part 5
What Is an Incident Report?
Essentially, an incident report is an invaluable business tool that enables you in precisely and chronologically recording all the happenings leading to the damage of your organization’s asset, hurt to a staff member, issues with processes and procedures, and other mishaps that can wreak mayhem and disrupt the seamless flow of activities in your organization.
Incident report is used to document various perilous workplace occurrences like
- Issues with processes and procedures
- Workforce Injuries
- Destruction of business infrastructure (computers, machines, and even furniture)
- Security Breach
- Workplace theft
- Workplace misbehavior
- Safety and health concerns among others
Inclusive of a step by step summary of
- What exactly happened?
- The specific time when the incident happened
- The exact location where the specific incident took place
- A detailed explanation of how the incident happened
- The individuals involved/affected
- The employee who reported the incident
- The degree of damage/injury
An incident report is an insightful business document that deeply scrutinizes any given occurrence in your business venture. With an excellent document, you can be able to identify the root cause of an incident effortlessly. Essentially offering an intuitive outline of what exactly happened, an incident report helps you in the objective formulation of corrective actions thus reducing the chances of a related happening in the future.
Top tip: Typically, this vital workplace document is commonly initiated by a staff member who was present when the event occurred. However, especially when the event is anonymous, an executive member with prior experience to a similar occurrence would be a perfect candidate.
Importance of an Incident Report
As a committed entrepreneur/business owner, it is to your ultimate interest in ensuring that your workplace is as safe as it could be. By beefing up security, you not only create a perfect working environment but also prevent loss/damage of business assets.
However, it is apparent that incidences may arise any time even amid critical workflows. But since incidences are unpredictable, especially when running an organization that boasts risky environments, the best approach is to learn from previous events. Generally, this necessitates a critical analysis of the explicit event.
Pledging to streamline the whole incident analysis process where you will precisely understand the main cause of the problem, an incident report is an essential business tool. While this crucial document is vital for companies of all sizes, predominantly, an incident report is exceptionally idealist for high-risk enterprises like Gas, Construction and power plant.
Generally, an incident report offers numerous paybacks including:
- Acts as an early warning system against an impending problem-necessitating employees to make daily incident reports, the executive body is able to identify looming hitches in your organization.
- Offers you with an insightful past record on commonly problematic areas thus enabling you to anticipate for eventualities.
- Provides a detailed analysis of an event consequently enhancing the process of formulating fruitful courses of action after an incident.
Other Benefits Include
- Ensures precise and real-time recording of the event
- Chronologically outlines the flow of events thus better comprehension of the whole occurrence
- Nurtures a quick response culture after an incident
- Greatly enhances the compensation process
6 Key Elements of an Incident Report
An excellent incident report should capture all the relevant evidence inclusive of the subsequent aspects to validate the analysis of the whole event.
A superb report should include vital elements like:
- An explicit narrative of the scene indicating the exact extent of property vandalism/employee injury
- Crystal clear snaps of the entire site
- Brief but intuitive note-downs of the deductions made when conversing with the injured individual
- Precise information regarding the current whereabouts of the business asset vandalized- indicate in your report if the equipment was not moved after the incident
- Contacts of cross-examined witnesses as well as those not yet interrogated
- Short notes regarding the exact settings in which the event happened
Tip: At all cost avoid including speculative opinions as to the origin of the incident.
3 Best Practices When Creating an Incident Report
While you have a clear picture of the most essential aspects of a typical incident report, developing this powerful business document should be effortless. Apparently, however, not until you get to precisely understand its dos and don’ts will you be able to create an excellent report.
Unlike other enterprise based documents, an incident report is a more comprehensive document that should provide a detailed outline of an accident. Therefore, there are dozens of key aspects that you must observe when developing this insightful document. For the purposes of enhancing clarity and improved understanding, we will focus on the most essential practices you should focus on.
To create an outstanding incident report, below are some of the best practices to observe:
Provide Explicit Descriptions and Details
Provide detailed specifics of the event.
Tip: Avoid vague descriptions like “in the storeroom”.
Capitalize on Facts
While speculative opinions can be incredibly compelling and may sometimes seem to beat logic, you should learn the art of overriding such unreliable intubations.
An excellent incident report should be based on facts and not factual opinions. Basically, each insinuation you make should always be followed with a supporting fact. This is a great ingredient to an accurate report.
Where Possible Incorporate Photos, Sketches, and Diagrams
A simple incident report does not necessitate diagrammatical illustrations of the event as most of them are generally straightforward. However, when dealing with complex reports, involving a wide range of aspects, it is always advisable to provide intuitive sketches, photos, or videos if applicable. With that, analysts will be able to easily contextualize key specifics of the incident thus enhancing correct decisions.
Other Best Practices Include
- Maintaining an objective tone
- Witnesses should be your data source
- Footages from CCTV cameras should not be corrupted in any way
- Use simple and easy to understand grammar
Sample Form of an Excellent Incident Report
An incident report is an invaluable business asset that allows for detailed analysis of a problematic event thus enabling you to identify the main causes of the specific event. Through understanding the root sources of a workplace incident, you are able to put precise measures to avoid future occurrences.
To view how your incident should look like, here is an excellent sample form to reference from:
How to start:
Step 1: Create your account and create a new applet by selecting a customizable form template.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s records.
- Alternatively, you can allow each participant to view his/her own records only and stakeholders to view all entries.
- Invite guests with limited permissions, if needed.
- Set up reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic email reminders.
- Configure who will add records by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it out and submit it.
Step 3: As soon as a new record is added, participants with “View” rights will receive an email notification and can view it in real time on the Timeline screen.
- Click “Edit” to change status or other relevant attributes.
- Employees can discuss records in real time — each record has its own section for live comments.
- Add an unlimited number of attachments (documents, images, photos, videos, audio notes, files) to a record.
- Export records or share them online.
Step 4: Get instant access to historical data and files with powerful search and filtering capabilities.
Step 5: The dashboard screen allows you to save time when you want to check a high-level overview, with quick one-click retrieval of the relevant information.