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There are so many things that can keep you up at night.

At the top of the list: having an accident happen under your watch!

Maybe it’s partially because they don’t want to think about any incident or injury, but many businesses actually don’t have a well-designed incident reporting process.

Truth is…that lack of planning can really hold back a culture of safety.

Having an effective incident reporting process can not only help you meet legal and compliance requirements, but it will make a significant difference if an accident does happen on your watch.

Let’s take a closer look at the best practices you can use as you re-evaluate your accident investigation practices.

1. Make sure your team is educated on your company’s policies and processes

Planning and preparing for what to do after an incident occurs does not increase the likelihood any incident will ever actually happen…And, with that in mind, be sure team members are aware of the steps to take if an incident happens. Make sure all your team members have easy access to all of your workplace policies, processes and supporting documents, no matter their location, by using a cloud-based system.

All the steps are imperative, yes, but those first steps will determine whether or not you get the information you need to be able to prevent that situation from ever happening again.

2. Make sure you take care of the injured person first

It’s important your team has the ability and know-how to create a report which includes a root cause analysis to determine the underlying causes. Take advantage of a tool or some kind of system that guides workers through the process so that they can collect all the information and details they should, right when it matters most.

Also, don’t forget that team members should take care of the person who may be injured or hurt first! It seems obvious to provide medical care immediately, but make sure that’s a part of the process you teach.

3. Start collecting data immediately

After an incident has been reported, it is imperative to find and capture what happened. Made easier with a tool like iReportSource, this investigation may include information such as:

  • Date, time, location
  • Names and job titles of those involved
  • Names and job titles of those who were witnesses
  • Environmental conditions
  • Key circumstances that led up to the incident
  • Details regarding the injuries
  • Details regarding damage to the area or equipment

By no means is this comprehensive, but it shows just how much information should be captured. Use a tool like iReportSource (or a dedicated phone and camera) that will prompt and cue any team member so that they capture all necessary forms of data (via pictures, interviews, audio, text and more) that will be extremely beneficial as you examine root cause.

4. Investigate root causes

Data collection isn’t just critical from a legal standpoint, but it’s going to help you determine your primary and secondary causes.

That data you captured will be directly used to answer the “what,” “why,” and “how” questions to determine the root cause of an incident. These details will all be a part of your step-by-step report and account.

5. Work your plan

“How could this have happened?” might be the first question you hear if an incident ever happens under your watch.

But after that, you know the focus is on making sure that incident never happens again.

Having all the information and facts you previously collected will help you form detailed and specific root causes that can be acted upon. Corrective action is so important so that you reduce risk for the future.

It’s also what will help you make the right decisions to re-build confidence, morale and your safety culture as a whole. Share the results and findings of your investigation with your team, which can help you re-build trust with them, too.

Have Greater Peace of Mind As You Minimize Risks

Sometimes being fully prepared means you have to plan for the worst to occur.

When you have a comprehensive incident reporting process that follows these steps, you’ll be in the position to better analyze what happened…and what went wrong. You’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and quickly apply those findings to prevent similar issues from happening again.

Record, Report & Minimize Safety Incidents From Anywhere with iReportSource

No matter if they are in the office or in the field, iReportSource gives leaders a guided way to follow an effective accident reporting process.

Learn more about becoming more proactive with iReportSource today.

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