If you’ve already seen an incident report template, you should know that you’d have to fill in a lot of information in detail so that the person who reads it will get a clear picture and a full understanding of the incident. Incident reports must be done right after the incident has happened so that all the details about it is still fresh in the memory of the people who had witnessed it. Depending on how minor or how severe the incident is, the report can be used by a company for different reasons such as for future planning, for insurance claims or even for reference for the police or the court.
In a healthcare facility like a clinic, a hospital or a retirement home, an incident report would be used to document the details regarding an unusual happening or an accident or injury involving a patient. This report would then be given to the relatives of the patient and probably placed in their file as well.
In a school, a filled out incident report sample could be given to the parents of a student in cases when the student had incurred any injuries because of an accident or because of another student while in the school premises. It would be essential for the teacher or any authorized staff member to report this incident to the parents to avoid any trouble such as anger from parents or worse, legal issues.
Incident reports are really important so we’ve written this article to help you learn all about them. From the purposes and benefits to helpful steps to guide you in filling up an incident report form, all these are included here. Read on to learn all about incident reports, incident report templates and incident report samples.
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Purposes of Filling Out Incident Report Forms
Incident reports are very important mainly to be able to find out the exact details of an incident when it happens. There are various reasons for someone to have to make such a report and it would be very helpful for you to know them. Learning the purposes of filling out report forms would guide you in when you would ask a person in your institution to make one. Here are the different purposes:
To Activate Your Memory
When an incident occurs, you would have to remember all the details when you are to make an incident report. If people in your company, school or healthcare facility are aware of the procedure when incidents happen, they would most likely be more alert and aware of what’s happening around them. Once you’ve filled out your report, you would most likely remember the details of the incident more clearly and you will be able to remember them in the future once you’ve read your report again.
To Prompt a Quick Response
When something unusual happens, people at the scene would most likely react quickly and be more careful in how they would react especially if they know that an incident report will be made right after.
When an incident report has been made, the people in charge – supervisors, administrators or managers would have to take certain steps to fix the circumstances to be able to avoid the recurrence of such a situation, especially in the cases of accidents or injuries which may have been avoided. They would have to come up with a quick solution to fix such problems to avoid lawsuits.
To Serve as a Guide for Making Decisions Regarding Compensation
An incident report would contain very important information which the institution would require in order for the key people to decide whether the patient or the person who had gotten into the accident or injury should be compensated for what happened.
For instance, if a person breaks a leg or a person’s personal items were destroyed or lost, the compensation to be given to that person would have to depend on the circumstances of the incident and who or what caused it.
To Give All the Relevant Details and Information in Regards to the Incident
If you are the person who had discovered the incident, you were there when it happened or you were involved, you would have to make an objective report containing everything that you know. The closer you are to the incident, the more it would be your responsibility to make the report and write down everything you know. Focus on all the facts and what had actually happened rather than hearsay and gossip from other people or witnesses who you think tend to be unreliable.
Never include information or facts which you are not sure of and make sure to place quotation marks for information which you had obtained from other people. Write down all the information needed such as the full names of the people involved as well as the witnesses who are sharing the information to you.
These are the purposes for writing an incident report or filling out a form provided by your institution. As you can see, incident reports are very important so you can start adding this procedure to your institution. Now let’s take a look at the different benefits of filling out and using incident reports.
The Benefits of Filling Out and Using Incident Reports
Now that you know the purposes of making incident reports, let’s move on to the benefits they would give to you and your institution. As you would see, these benefits are truly useful so read on to learn all about them.
- Incident reports would allow employees and staff members to identify, describe and report security related incidents quickly, following a set of procedures set by your institution.
- When your employees and staff members are aware that they would need to make incident reports, they would most likely stay alert and be more level headed when incidents happen around them. They would most likely try their best to recall all the details of the incident to be able to make an efficient and accurate report.
- It would improve communication between everyone involved as they would have to come to a consensus when writing the report in order to include all the correct facts and details about the incident.
- It would allow for different incidents to be recorded at one time. Not only that but it would allow you to record an incident from different perspectives, which would allow you to get a clearer picture of what had really happened.
- Having incident reports would allow investigations to progress faster since all the facts and information is recorded. If there are any questions, investigators would just have to interview the people involved whose names would have also been written down on the incident report.
- When studying or examining incident reports, the people in the institution would be able to identify and deal with any vulnerability, security related or otherwise which would help out the institution in the long run. The incident report would serve as concrete proof of any weaknesses of policies or even staff members which are present in the institution and which must be dealt with.
- It can be used to establish the cause of the incidents based on the accounts of all the people who were involved in it. Since multiple incident reports can be made for a single occurrence, you will be able to see the consistencies between them and pinpoint what went wrong and possibly, who is to blame.
- In case any legal action would be taken against the institution, you would be able to use the incident report as an official document which would describe all the events which had transpired when the incident occurred as well as everyone who was involved.
All these benefits would be able to help out your institution so as you can see, it is essential for you to require your staff and employees to make a report as soon as an incident occurs, especially if it’s an accident or injury. Before we move on to learning how to fill in an incident report, let’s first take a look at some tips in writing your incident report.
Tips for Writing an Incident Report
Now that you know the purposes as well as the benefits of making incident reports, let’s talk about some tips in writing one. Before you actually start formulating a template for an incident report form, you should know how you should be writing the report itself. You should keep these tips in mind so that you will be able to come up with a report that would be valuable to your institution.
- Make sure to use simple and “normal” language when writing your report. Remember that different kinds of people from different backgrounds might end up reading your report so you should word your statements in such a way that no matter who reads it, the report will be understood. Adding in too many flowery words or technical jargon might make your report incomprehensible.
- Include the 5 W’s in your report – Who were involved, What happened, When it happened (date and exact time), Where it happened and Why the incident had occurred.
- Be sure to only write down objective facts. If you’re not sure of what happened, get the information from reliable sources.
- Be professional and if you can, document the incident by taking photos and videos with your mobile phone or any device you have on hand.
Incidents should be reported right away, no matter how minor it may be. Reporting an incident right away will allow for correction action to be taken sooner.
These tips are very simple, right? Now that you are armed with a lot of information regarding incident reports, let’s go on to learning how you would actually fill out a form or create your own incident report.
Steps and Tips in Filling out an Incident Report Form
No matter who you are or what kind of environment you are working in – corporate, educational or medical, you would have to know how to efficiently fill out an incident report form. Your incident report would have to be understandable, to the point and accurate. To guide you, here are some steps and tips which you may find useful in filling out an incident report template.
- Usually, an institution would already have incident report samples as well as forms which you would just have to fill out. When an incident occurs, the first thing you would have to do would be to get the proper forms to be able to file your report.
- You may not only have to fill up a form but you would have to also follow a few protocols or policies which would accompany the form. Be sure to follow the rules and guidelines of your institution so that you won’t have any trouble handling the incident.
- Depending on your institution, you may either have to write down the details of the incident on a form or type the details on a computer and simply print out the report when you are done. Either way, you’d have to make sure that when it’s done, your report is neat and can be read clearly.
- As soon as the incident is over and everything has settled, it would be a good idea to start making your report. Rather than wait until the end of the day to document the incident, do it as soon as possible so that all the details are still fresh in your mind and you will be able to write down all the relevant details. If you’re really busy, still try to accomplish your report at least 24 hours after the incident occurred.
- Give all the details of what had happened without adding any irrelevant details. If you are filling up a form, provide all the necessary information asked in the form so that it is accomplished fully. If you don’t have a form, you can begin your report with the following data:
- The exact date, time and place where the incident had happened.
- Your full name and employee or ID number.
- The names of the people who were present when the incident had occurred.
- Then you can start describing the incident in full detail.
- First off, you’d have to write a statement about the nature of the incident. Narrate the circumstances why you were at the scene when the incident had occurred. If you were called to report to the scene of the incident, describe the call you had received and also make a note of the time you had received the call. Using objective sentences, describe the incident and how it occurred.
- It’s important to note that you should not be writing an account of what you think may have happened, instead write down all the facts and details you know had really occurred.
- Use the first person narrative in describing the details of what had happened. Be sure to lay out the details chronologically starting from when you arrived on the scene. If you were there from the beginning, then start from there.
- Make sure to write the full names of each and every person who is involved in the incident, thus included in the report. Identify all the people involved using their full names, date of birth gender and their employee or ID number.
- With each paragraph, describe what each of the persons involved had done during the incident and what had resulted in their actions. If you can, add in quotes from the people who were involved in the incident as well as from witnesses.
- Not only had the actions of the persons involved, you should also add in an accurate narrative of your own role in the incident. Be objective in your narration and be sure to include all the details.
- Be sure to write down all you can recall and be thorough in including the details. This is so that anyone who reads it will get a clear picture of what had happened and they won’t end up interpreting vague details in a wrong way.
- Also, try to be as accurate as possible. If you are not sure of what had happened before you arrived at the scene, ask for input from people who were actually present and who you know are reliable. You can also write down how the witnesses were acting or behaving while they were recounting the details of the incident.
- You don’t have to add in words or information just to add to your report. If it’s short, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re sure you’ve included all the most important facts and data. Also avoid using technical language or jargon which other people might not understand.
- Remember to remain honest as you are writing your report. Even if you feel bad or ashamed at how you may have handled the situation, you would still have to write down those details. This would ensure that your report is accurate, truthful and objective.
- Before submitting your report, double check all the facts and information you had written down or typed. Check all the spellings of the names as well as the other details. If there are other reports, check yours against those to make sure that the facts match.
- Check, proofread and edit your report wherever needed. Make sure your grammar is correct and what you have written is easy to understand. Also see if you have spelled all the words correctly as this is an official document.
- When you’re satisfied with your report, you may submit it to the person in charge at your institution.
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