You never want things to reach that point, but it’s a fact of life – accidents happen, and sometimes they happen at work. If you intend to minimize the possibility of any repeated incidents in the workplace, gathering detailed information about them is essential.
One of the ways to record all the details of the unforeseen event is an incident report form. These forms should be simple and straightforward. However, their purpose is to make sense of often complicated events. How can an incident report form be simple and still include all the relevant information? Look at this!
We are here to help you with that. We will show you how to build a high-quality incident report form using a template and a logical sequence of general questions.
A good incident report form should include questions about the following things.
Details about the injuries or caused damage
Information on the event
Circumstances that caused/contributed to the incident
The goal of gathering this information is to avoid repeated incidents and improve safety and security at the workplace.
When the accident happens, incident report forms should be filled out as soon as possible. As time goes on, people tend to forget the details. Yet in many cases, we are talking about highly stressful events – so you have to make sure that the incident report form is not needlessly complicated.
Let’s walk you through the basics.
1. Don’t Get Too Creative
The incident report form is not a place for flashy visuals. A good design should serve only one purpose – making the orientation in your document easier. For starting page, pick a neutral background and a formal letter font.
2. Personal Information
Start by gathering all the relevant personal data about the worker filing a report – it may be someone who was involved in the incident or a witness. You want to have as many accounts of the event as possible. Ask for the name, contact details, position in the company, corporate ID number and other specifics that may be relevant for the future security analysis.
3. Categorize the Incident
You don’t want to have your employee waste their time on figuring out how the incident could be classified. The best option for a general incident report form is to enable people to select one of the offered answers. You can add categories according to the nature of your business or the incident.
4. Assess the Damage
After you gather the employees’ personal info and categorize the incident, move on to the most important detail – injuries. Check if there are any, and classify them according to the relevant parameters. In this guide, we used classification based on body parts that sustained injuries – you can opt to group them by the severity or the lasting consequences.
However, keep in mind that incident report forms are filled out right after the accident. Asking about the severity may leave workers speculating when the details of the event are still not clear or measurable.
If you are going to include pictures, use something neutral – you don’t want people clicking on rainbow-colored clip arts while they are describing a potentially traumatic experience.
After the injuries, you can asses the property damage. Don’t ask too much – the evaluation of the incident's scope is best left to the professionals.
5. Leave the Details for the End
A long, more nuanced account of the events should find its place at the end of your incident report form. Making people recollect their memories of a possibly stressful situation and put them on paper (or screen) is not an easy feat. This is why you should first ask for clear, easily categorized information and only then move on to details. In this case, even if the person gives up halfway or keeps things short, the incident report form will still contain the essential facts.
A detailed description of the incident also leaves a lot of space for speculation, conflicting accounts and subjective interpretations of the events.
With this type of the incident report form, you should be covered for a variety of classic unforeseen events at the workplace. The question sequence we presented here does not change even if you are evaluating a completely different type of accident. For example, if there is a security breach in the bank your incident report form will contain the following:
• Personal information
• Incident Type
• Immediate damage
• Select the system that suffered damage
• Select the system that is currently vulnerable
• Detailed description (possible causes and consequences)
Creating a pre-designed incident report form does not have to take hours, days or expensive designers. We’ve shown you the pattern you can follow in LeadQuizzes content builder and create dozens of official and informal forms, quizzes, and surveys for each segment of your business.