Incidents can be minor, major or SEVERE, but we still consider these to all be incidents. They also need to be investigated in order to identify the “WHO”, “WHAT”, “WHEN”, “WHY”, and “HOW”. Timely and efficient reporting is critical regardless of the severity of the incident. Even if one does not need medical attention, it is just as important to report these incidents.
Accidents in many times begin and develop from atypical occasions or tasks. With this being said they sometimes provide little information about the possibility of a future incident. In contrast, the greater and higher frequency of incidents, the more information they give of human error, process failures, site evaluations, and procedure weaknesses. The documentation of these issues helps determine the root causes, which will help the likelihood of us repeating failures.
Nothing is learned from an unreported incident. As many of us can attests, many incidents come within inches from being a life altering injury, which should make reporting them more serious. When an incident goes unreported, the preventative measures or controls go uncorrected. This means that if it happens again, it could cause tomorrow’s life altering injury or fatality.
Why is incident reporting necessary?
- Process, so a situation can be corrected
- Informing management of problems
- Prompt medical attention
- Preventing more sever incidents
- Documenting to track patterns
- Incident reports to prevent lawsuits
- Reporting minor incidents, to hopefully reduce cost of a major incident
- Feedback from incidents, encouraging employee involvement
- Creates a stronger safety culture
- Awareness of threats, other hazards
- Encourages improvement
- Inspires urgency
Immediate action may be needed, depending on the severity of the incident or even the existing hazard that caused the incident. In certain situations, we may have to activate the emergency procedure in order to take immediate action, such as fire alarms or EMTs.