Incident reports are not just for workers’ compensation claims. Staffing agencies should know that incident reports are important for any incident involving general liability, auto, property damage, and workers’ compensation. It’s crucial to have a systematic method for investigating incidents. Additionally, it’s equally important to prepare a report that documents all relevant details of the incident.

The first step in the incident reporting process.

Once you create your incident reporting form, start your investigation by gathering facts and end it by making recommendations to prevent the incident from getting worse or happening again.

To write an effective incident report, follow the basic format as described below.

Take Immediate Action – Employees should promptly inform their supervisor. The supervisor’s primary duty is to ensure that the injured person receives appropriate medical treatment or first aid. Additionally, if the hazard that caused the accident is still present, the supervisor must take immediate action to eliminate it. It is important for your company to have a well-defined procedure in place for handling such situations.

Collect the Facts – Once the immediate response has been completed, a thorough on-site accident investigation should be conducted by an investigation team. This should take place quickly after the incident so those affected still have the situation fresh in their mind. Items to review include:

  • Date, time and specific location of the incident
  • Names, job titles and departments of employees involved and their immediate supervisors
  • Names and accounts of witnesses
  • Events leading up to incident
  • Specifically what the employee was doing at the moment of the accident
  • Environmental conditions (e.g. slippery floor, inadequate lighting, noise, etc.)
  • Circumstances (including tasks, equipment, tools, materials, PPE, etc.)
  • Specific injuries (including part(s) of body injured, nature and extent of injuries)
  • Type of treatment for injuries
  • Damage to equipment, materials, etc.

Analyze and Reflect – After figuring out how an incident occurred, it’s important to understand why it happened. This step is vital for developing an effective plan to prevent similar incidents in the future. The causes can be categorized into three types:

  • Primary causes: these are the main factors that directly led to the incident. For example, a slip and fall accident may have been caused by a spill on the floor.
  • Secondary causes: These are additional factors that contributed to the incident. For instance, an employee not wearing appropriate work shoes or carrying a stack of materials that blocked their vision could be secondary causes.
  • Other contributing factors: These are additional circumstances or conditions that played a role in the incident. For example, a burned-out light bulb in the area may have contributed to the incident.

Determine a Corrective Action Plan – This plan includes recommendations for both immediate and long-term actions. Here are some examples of corrective actions that can be taken:

  • Employee training on safe work practices
  • Preventive maintenance activities that keep equipment in good operating condition
  • Evaluation of job procedures with a recommendation for changes
  • Conducting a job hazard analysis to evaluate the task for any other hazards and then train employees on these hazards
  • Engineering changes that make the task safer or administrative changes that might include changing the way the task is performed

By following a systematic approach and gathering all relevant information, incidents can be thoroughly investigated and analyzed to prevent future occurrences. It’s crucial to have policies in place with clients that grant investigation access for your agency to conduct their own investigation. This includes accessing supporting information like client reports, witness statements, and any available camera footage.

With a well-defined corrective action plan in place, organizations can take proactive measures to create a safer work environment. Click here to learn more ways to protect your staffing company.

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