Tag Archive for: OSHA Incident reporting

Why a Workplace Safety Program Needs Incident Reporting 

Most types of businesses that work in the construction industry, manufacturing industry, or another industry with a high risk of accident rely on workplace safety programs to keep everyone safe. As part of a robust workplace safety program, program managers should encourage consistent, detailed incident reporting and analysis. If you have questions about incident reporting as part of a workplace safety program, the team at OSHA Injury Attorney can help to answer questions and provide feedback. In the meantime, here’s an overview of the basics of incident reporting and why incident reporting is a crucial piece of a workplace safety program—

What Is Incident Reporting?

Incident reporting is the act of implementing a system wherein workers, managers, and others in a workspace can document any safety incidents that occur. Note that the word “incident” is used rather than accident; in the eyes of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), incidents are preventable, whereas the term “accidents” implies the occurrence of an uncontrollable, random event. 

What Types of Incidents Should Be Reported?

All workplace safety incidents should be reported, documented, and investigated with follow-up. Types of workplace incidents that should be reported include any situations where an employee or someone on a worksite is in a motor vehicle accident, becomes ill due to workplace conditions, is involved in an incident that results in property or equipment damage, is injured on the worksite, dies as a result of a workplace accident, or is involved in a “near-miss” incident that could have resulted in injury, death, or property damage. 

What Are the Benefits of Incident Reporting?

Incident reporting provides numerous benefits, and should be a focus of all workplace safety plans. Some of the top reasons to include incident reporting as part of your workplace safety program include: 

  • Opportunity to create better processes in the future.Incident reporting can bring attention to processes that may not be serving the interests of those in the workplace best, or that may be riddled with risk or inefficiencies. By analyzing incidents, there is an opportunity to adjust, create, and improve processes.
  • Awareness of issues. If incidents are not reported, management may simply remain unaware of any process issues or other concerns that are putting workers and risk or impairing production. Transparency around incidents is a key part of safety and process improvement.
  • Mitigation of more serious incidents. One of the most critical reasons to implement a workplace incident reporting program is that reporting incidents and identifying the factors that led to those incidents can help to mitigate more serious incidents from occurring in the future, including incidents that could result in severe injury or death.
  • Ability to track patterns and trends. By keeping detailed incident reports and analyzing trends in incidents over time, managers will have a better understanding of patterns and factors that contribute to incidents and where intervention or adjustment in processes may be necessary to keep everyone safe and improve protection.
  • Protection from liability. Keeping documents that thoroughly detail incidents is a key part of responsible recordkeeping; this type of recordkeeping is essential in the event that a lawsuit is brought forth. Without incident reporting, a company under scrutiny may have little to provide in its defense. In addition to reducing liability in a single incident, evidence that incident reporting has informed safety program decisions can also help to prove that a company has fulfilled its duty to mitigate risk.
  • Employee participation in workplace safety programs. By encouraging reporting of incidents, an employer also encourages employee participation in workplace safety programs, which can help to keep everyone safe.
  • Enhanced workplace safety culture. A strong workplace safety culture is something that all businesses should strive for. A strong workplace safety culture means that a workplace safety program is robust, effective, and understood and followed by all team members. Companies with strong workplace safety cultures may experience fewer incidents that jeopardize production, company reputation and liability, and worker health and safety.

Note that a strong incident reporting program not only includes a way for employees to report incidents, but also a plan for how incidents will be investigated and responded to. 

Learn More About Incident Reporting and Workplace Safety Plans Today

Employers have a big responsibility: to keep everyone in the workplace safe. In addition to maintaining a safety plan that outlines expectations, regulations, and other key safety points, safety plans should include an incident reporting strategy. At OSHA Injury Attorney, we can help answer your questions about workplace safety plans and incident reporting. To learn more about incident reporting in the workplace, please reach out to us directly online.