Incident reporting can provide very valuable information about the occupational safety situation in a company. However, this can only happen if the system is well structured, understood by everyone and implemented.
How incident reporting should be structured?
Even when incident reporting is the direct responsibility of department managers, there is still a urgent need to gain the trust and awareness of employees. Because they need to inform the department managers when situations have occurred or have arisen that could have resulted in an accident at work.
Explain to the staff during the joint meeting what an incident is and what should be reported? Give examples of incidents that have occurred in your company that should be reported. Also put this information in a visible place to employees for later viewing, such as near the rest room or their workplace.
Important aspects of hazard reporting
The principle of hazard reporting, of course, is to ask for the information you really need. What I suggest you think about is:
- Hazard category (if you use them) near misses, first aid hazards, etc.
- Time and place of the emergency
- Persons involved in the incident – who were causeses, potential victims
- Machine, work process related to this incident
- A brief description of what happened
- How shoul or could this be prevented next time?
The last question is important because then the employees themselves start thinking about safety and prevention.
It is also important where incidents are reported
One option is to put incident reporting forms and mailboxes in the work environment. If the employee wants to report something, he / she takes the form and fills in and put into the mailbox.
Another option is to create one or more computer workstations in a work environment where all employees can access and fill in the hazards in a common excel.
The third option is to deploy a software or platform where all employees can also enter incidents on an ongoing basis. Such platforms also allow you to enter incidents via smartphone.
Incident reporting should be as simple and straightforward as possible. Therefore, the whole process should be thought through and it should be clearly stated how the reporting of incidents should work.