Published 19 Oct 2023 | By Jona Tarlengco, Tiffany Argent
What is an Incident Report Form?
An incident report form 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 recurrence of the same incident.
In this article
- Why is it Important to Write an Incident Report?
- Types of Incident Reporting
- Injury Incident Report Examples
- How Do You Write an Incident Report?
- What to Include in Your Incident Report Template
- FAQs about Incident Report Templates
- Ensure Workplace Safety with SafetyCulture
- Related Incident Report Templates
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.
Ensure Workplace Safety with SafetyCulture
Paper-based incident reporting can be cumbersome and time-consuming to the reporter, as well as wasteful with resources and money. However, with a digital solution such as SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), you can perform paperless incident reporting from both mobile devices and laptops, anytime and anywhere.
SafetyCulture is an operations platform that offers premade editable and fillable incident report templates in the Public Library as well as a smart form builder for you to create your own templates from scratch. Photos, notes, and PDF files can be attached as you see fit for instruction or evidence. All data can be stored in a secure cloud and can be accessed online or offline as needed, allowing you to create reports whenever you want. Each file comes with its own access controls, ensuring privacy and security for those involved different incidents. This also helps in the documentation process, making sure that all reports are sorted properly and can be easily a
Additionally, with SafetyCulture, you can also do the following:
- Report specific details of an incident as issues and create corrective actions for them
- Communicate with your team or organization with Heads Up
- Train staff on proper incident reporting procedures and safety practices
- Monitor assets and their impact to incidents
- Keep track of lone workers with SHEQSY by SafetyCulture
- Ensure employees are working in safe conditions with Sensors
- Generate incident reports instantly and export them in various formats such as Weblink, PDF, Excel, and CSV
Related Incident Report Templates
Use this near miss report form to capture a potential hazard or incident that has not resulted in any personal injury or property damage. It can be completed by anyone wishing to report a near miss. The report should capture whether the near miss was a result of an unsafe act, unsafe condition, unsafe equipment or unsafe use of equipment. Using SafetyCulture you can capture photo evidence with annotations of the surrounding environment or persons which led to the near miss being reported. A completed copy of the near miss report can be generated with SafetyCulture on-site and submitted to your relevant safety department. Browse more near miss report templates.
An accident injury report form is used to record accidents that have led to injured employees and persons in the workplace, on-site or in the field. Use this accident report form to provide key details needed regarding the injury, witness statements and indicate if emergency services were contacted.
A workplace incident report is used to record any event in the organization that involves accident, injuries, or property damage. Use this template to document the type of incident that occurs in the workplace including near misses, sentinel events, adverse events, and no harm events. This would help the organization to keep track of the frequent causes of incidents to assess safety improvements in the workplace.
Use this fire incident template for notification of any fire or fire-related incidents. Example incidents include building and vehicle fires, premises evacuation, alarm activation, obstructed exit routes, premises evacuation or accidental fire notifications. There is space to record the building location, type of fire incident being reported, photo evidence of damage or obstruction and contact details of persons involved in the incident. It can be used by the Health and Safety Department or Facilities Management divisions and the generated report can be shared with regulatory and fire departments. You can customize this template to suit your property specifications and include branding and logos. Browse for more fire safety checklists.
This incident investigation template can be used to help conduct a root cause analysis following an incident or near miss at a worksite or workplace. Use this to help gather necessary facts and general background information of the incident. There is space to capture relevant environmental, equipment, system, and people factors that may have contributed to the incident. Finally identify and record the relevant steps to take action to fix all the factors that contributed to the incident, starting with the primary cause/s and working through each of the contributing and underlying causes. Browse more accident investigation report templates.
A workplace incident report form is a tool used by any staff to record incidents that caused injuries within the workplace. Indicate the individuals involved and the injuries sustained. Using this checklist can also document workplace violence and be helpful in compensation, insurance claims, and court cases.
An employee incident report is a document used by organizations to record work-related injuries. Employee overseeing the work area where the incident occurred is responsible for investigating and filing an employee incident report. Use this employee incident report template to assist in gathering crucial incident information such as date and time, and location of damage or injury description and evidence (if possible), and witnesses.
Use this vehicle incident report during first response on the scene. With this as your vehicle incident report template, quickly gather the facts and collect evidence about an incident, vehicle damage, accident, or injury. Conduct full investigations quickly with this incident report template. Log all damage, parties involved, witness statements and photo evidence at the scene on your mobile device. Browse for other vehicle inspection checklists here.
This General Incident Report Form can be used to report and document accidents, incidents, near misses or equipment damage involving members of staff. Capture employee details and then document all near miss or injury details. Take photos of any equipment damage. The template has space to record detailed action plans and steps to prevent incidents from occurring again.
The event incident report form can be used during outdoor or indoor public events. Event planners, supervisors and safety officers should complete this form immediately after an incident occurs. Gather information of the person(s) injured and relevant witness statements and obtain electronic signatures. Browse for more event safety checklists.