Quality management (QHSE)

Improving Employee Incident Reports for Better Data

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Incidents come in various forms, from unexpected events to near accidents. When these situations arise, it’s essential to address them properly using the best possible incident report format.

This article focuses on incident report formats that ensure better data for analysis, helping incident response teams mitigate and prevent similar occurrences.

Why Proper Incident Reporting Is Important

Studies by WHO indicate that in high-income countries, up to 1 in 10 patients suffer further injuries during hospital care, with roughly 50% of these incidents being preventable.

We see the problem with preventable incidents everywhere, so it is not limited to people-reated accidents but also to other areas such as cyber-security, where preventable human errors are behind many major incidents.

Our main goals are therefore twofold:

  1. Report All Incidents: Every incident or adverse event should be reported, without exception.
  2. Gather Comprehensive Data: Ensure that every report includes all available data and knowledge.

Common Issues with Incident Reporting

Zero Defects Culture: Many companies prioritize a “zero defects” culture, emphasizing quality through prevention. While this approach is valuable, it may not suit fields where innovation and development involve trial and error. It’s crucial to understand that mistakes can lead to improvement, even outside of production.

Reluctance to Report: One major issue is a reluctance to report incidents. Encouraging reporting within your organization is essential if you want to receive incident reports.

Lack of a Central Reporting Hub: Reporting can be challenging if there isn’t a single designated place to submit incidents. Streamlining reporting prevents confusion.

Unclear Reporting Instructions: Without clear instructions, the quality of incident reports can suffer. To improve this, provide concise, straightforward guidelines and examples for reporting.

Making It Easy and Intuitive

To enhance the quality of incident reports, make reporting incidents easy and intuitive. Quick reporting after an incident is essential to accumulate knowledge for prevention.

Key Steps for Better Employee Incident Reporting

  1. Establish an Incident Reporting System: Create a centralized system where employees can easily report incidents, ensuring clarity and transparency in the process.
  2. Provide Guidance: Offer a step-by-step guide to gather sufficient data for understanding adverse events and implementing preventive measures.
  3. Digital Reporting: Implement a digital reporting process to enhance data quality, increase reporting, and facilitate better corrective actions, ultimately reducing major incidents or accidents.
  4. Feedback and Involvement: Engage everyone in the safety, quality, or work environment of the company through the incident reporting process. Establish tasks and responsibilities, value collected information, inform stakeholders, and form incident prevention teams for analysis and action plans.

In conclusion, simplifying and optimizing incident reporting is crucial for improving data quality and preventing future incidents. By making reporting easy and involving all stakeholders, you can create a culture of safety and continuous improvement within your organization.

Three incident report format examples

Here are three examples of good incident report formats that can be used for different types of incidents:

The Basic Option

  • Title: Incident Report
  • Date and Time of Incident:
  • Location of Incident:
  • Description of Incident: Provide a detailed description of what happened, including who was involved, what actions were taken, and any equipment or resources used.
  • Witnesses: List any witnesses to the incident, including their names and contact information.
  • Injuries or Damage: Describe any injuries sustained or damage caused as a result of the incident.
  • Immediate Actions Taken: Explain any immediate actions taken to address the situation or provide assistance.
  • Recommendations: Suggest any recommendations for preventing similar incidents in the future.
  • Signature: Include a space for the person reporting the incident to sign and date the report.

Medical incidents

  • Title: Medical Incident Report
  • Patient Information: Include the patient’s name, age, gender, and any relevant medical history.
  • Date and Time of Incident:
  • Location of Incident:
  • Description of Incident: Provide a detailed account of the medical incident, including symptoms, treatments administered, and any adverse reactions.
  • Vital Signs: Record the patient’s vital signs before and after the incident (e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate).
  • Medications and Dosages: List any medications administered and their dosages.
  • Witnesses: Include witness statements and contact information.
  • Outcome: Describe the patient’s condition after the incident and any follow-up actions required.
  • Signature: Provide space for the healthcare provider and patient (if applicable) to sign and date the report.

Workplace safety incidents

  • Title: Workplace Safety Incident Report
  • Date and Time of Incident:
  • Location of Incident:
  • Employee Information: Include the name, job title, and department of the involved employees.
  • Description of Incident: Provide a thorough account of the safety incident, including the sequence of events, any equipment involved, and environmental conditions.
  • Injuries or Property Damage: Specify any injuries sustained or damage to property.
  • Safety Equipment: Indicate whether appropriate safety equipment (e.g., personal protective equipment) was used.
  • Root Causes: Analyze the underlying causes of the incident and identify contributing factors.
  • Corrective Actions: Describe the actions taken to address the immediate situation and prevent future occurrences.
  • Witness Statements: Include statements from witnesses, if available.
  • Supervisor’s Review: Have a supervisor or manager review and sign off on the report.
  • Signature: Include spaces for the employee reporting the incident, the supervisor, and any other relevant personnel to sign and date the report.

These are just a few examples of incident report formats. The specific format used can vary depending on the organization’s needs, industry, and regulatory requirements. It’s essential to tailor the format to the type of incident being reported and ensure that all necessary information is captured accurately.

For more on setting up an incident management system, you can read our blog post on “How to set up an incident management system.”

Tor Christensen

Recent Posts

Speed up your process improvement flow through faster approvals

Long approval flows can kill your continuous improvement effort if it's not adressed. Watch this…

2 weeks ago

Gluu listed in Gartner Market Guide for Enterprise Business Process Analysis Tools

With 'representative vendors' Gartner® acknowledges the noteworthy contributions of companies that demonstrate exceptional expertise, technological…

3 months ago

How to make every new employee onboarding your best

What if you could ensure that every employee onboarding lives up to your own best…

3 months ago

Managing improvement suggestions and ideas effectively

Tired of suggestions and ideas getting lost or not managed? In this webinar we discuss…

3 months ago

The bots are coming! How to control them via your business processes

Bots made with e.g. PowerAutomate, UIPath and ChatGPT are popping up in many businesses. A…

3 months ago

Avoid your suppliers being disconnected from your business process

Does your company use suppliers as part of your product and service delivery? Then you…

3 months ago