For every incident that happens in your workplace, do you know who was involved? What happened? Why it happened? Are there any repeat incidents or near misses? Are all of your workers familiar with past incidents so that they might recognize and avoid the hazards?
Investigating things that go wrong at the workplace gives you valuable information needed to prevent similar incidents in the future. Prevention is a primary objective of incident investigation. Rarely is there only one cause for an incident. By finding the causes of an incident and taking steps to control or eliminate them, similar occurrences can be prevented. Always keep in mind that effective incident investigation means fact-finding – not fault-finding.
An incident report form is a key tool for incident investigations. Download a sample incident report form in PDF or Word format and use it as a guide to create an incident report form specific to your workplace. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should allow you to collect the following information:
- Names of those involved or injured and the nature of their injuries
- Location, date, and time of incident, and weather conditions (if applicable)
- Description of incident, including people, equipment, material, and machinery involved
- Name and contact information of the person the incident was reported to
- Names and contact information of any witnesses