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Filling Out an Accident Report Form
You may be called upon to fill out an accident report form after a vehicle collision, a workplace injury or a slip-and-fall accident at your home. Here are some tips to follow when filling out various types of accident report forms.
Write With Clarity and Precision
No one wants to know that your uncle worked for 27 years at the factory and has never witnessed such an injury as the one you saw happen to a coworker. Fleet managers, auto insurance agencies, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers’ compensation insurers and other interested parties want only the facts about any incident you witnessed or from which you suffer.
Use a black or blue pen when filling out a handwritten accident report, and write as legibly as you can. If you’re unable to write properly due to your injuries, dictate your answers to someone who can write clearly. You make the jobs of all parties involved in an accident easier when you state the facts, when everyone can read the facts clearly on your report and when subsequent copies of the report are legible.
Act With Haste
Whether you’re filling out an accident report for a vehicle crash or a mishap at work, the timing of your report is critical. All workplace, vehicle and other injuries and/or property damage must be reported immediately to a person in charge of property where any accident happens. Of course, any person in danger must be stabilized and made safe before you do anything else. After injured or at-risk persons are secure and attended to, filling out an accident report is the very first responsibility of witnesses, injury victims if able and anyone with knowledge of the events surrounding an accident.
If your accident occurs on a public road, the local law enforcement agencies may collect reports at the accident site. In some busy jurisdictions, you’re responsible for reporting vehicle accidents and injuries to the appropriate city, county or state agency as well as reporting your accident to your insurance agency. In the workplace, you should notify the supervisor in charge of the injured employee or property. In a restaurant or store, a manager should be called to the scene of any accidents or injuries. At a private residence, the homeowner should be notified, and you should follow up with a police/ambulance/hospital/insurance report as necessary.
Pay Attention to Details
Accident reports vary depending on the agency to whom you report. However, most accident reports expect you to fill out the essential details about the incident. Details you should be able to provide include:
- Date and time of incident
- Precise location of accident
- People involved including titles and contact information
- Equipment/vehicle/objects involved
- Weather or climate conditions
- Drivers’ contact and insurance information if applicable
- Treatment rendered to injured parties
- Diagrams and photos of accident if applicable
Incident and accident report forms may have sections requesting more information than the above items, including asking about events that may have led up to an accident or injury.
Talk to a Legal Professional
If you’re afraid you may be held liable for someone else’s injury or accident, or you’re afraid of liability for property loss, talk to an attorney before you complete and submit an accident report about the incident in question. A qualified attorney can help you fill out required forms while also protecting you from misplaced liability. An attorney can also help you submit appropriate reports for your own injury claims and should be consulted when you intend to pursue damages.
Consult Accident Experts
Your insurance carrier, workplace supervisor, and other agencies have more information online and by phone about filling out accident report forms. Reach out for help from experts when you’re unsure about answering accident-report questions.
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How to write an incident report?
Even with all the safety measures in place, safety incidents can still happen. The big question is: how do you learn from them?
The answer lies in the incident report.
An incident report is a written account of a situation that has occurred. It provides a record of events that led up to an accident, as well as its immediate aftermath.
The primary purpose of writing an incident report is to learn from the mistakes and prevent the recurrence of the same kind of incident in future. This is especially important if there are injuries involved, as it will help workers understand how they can avoid similar accidents in the future. It also helps management understand what went wrong and how they can improve their policies or procedures so that workers are safer in the future.
An incident report is necessary when:
- There’s a serious injury to any employee or customer (or a visitor).
- An accident causes major damage to equipment or property.
- An accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence — even if it’s a near-miss.
- Any other situation where you feel that an accident could have caused significant harm or concerns regarding the safety of employees, vendors, customers or any other people in the vicinity.
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Download free incident report template. available as word, excel or pdf formats., what should you include in an incident report.
An incident report is necessary to record anything from a minor mishap to a major accident and should include all relevant information such as who was involved, what happened and when it happened.
A basic incident report should contain answers to the following questions:.
Make sure you include all the details, such as who was involved and what was damaged, lost or destroyed.
When & where did it happen?
Your report should contain the date, time and location where the accident took place. If your company uses a system to track such information, try using that same system for your reports.
Who were involved?
Include other people who were present at the time of the incident or accident and what they did at the time of the incident. This will help determine how exactly the incident happened and any other secondary contributing factors.
What did they do?
Detail out what each of those persons was doing just before, during and after the incident. This is an important detail to help you get down to the bottom of the incident and truly understand the root cause.
Why did it happen?
Your report should explain why the accident occurred so that anyone reading it can understand how it happened and what could have been done differently to prevent it from occurring again.
Were there any witnesses?
You’ll need witness statements from the people nearby and any other involved parties to help explain an event or clarify who was involved.
What is the extent of damage to a person or property?
This would include the severity of the incident as well as any person or equipment damaged in the incident and the follow-up treatment.
Step-by-step process to write an incident report
1. Collect the information
The first step is to collect all the relevant information. This includes all the details of the incident, including wh en it occurred, where it took place, what happened and how many people were affected. You should also include any photos or video evidence that could be relevant. You can use checklists or an incident reporting tool like Safetymint to help you collect the necessary data.
2. Establish the order of events
Once you have collected all the information about an incident, you need to determine exactly what happened. An effective incident report starts with a summary of what transpired, followed by a description of each event in chronological order. The order of events is crucial because it helps investigators determine whether there is any pattern to the problem and how to fix it.
3. Analyze the root cause
After determining the exact sequence in which the incident occurred, you need to analyze the root cause of this problem to identify ways of preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future.
The analysis can also include a review of previous incidents that were similar in nature and frequency leading up to this particular incident. This will help you understand if there is a common cause for all these events or not.
4. Formulate corrective action
With the root cause of the event clear, you can then discuss to formulate corrective and preventive action (CAPA) to avoid a similar incident in the future. These corrective actions should be based on past experiences and lessons learned rather than just assumptions or guesses.
You can also involve other team members or stakeholders who may know about preventing such events from reoccurring in the future. All of these information will be helpful for the investigative team to understand what went wrong and suggest recommendations
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Best practices to follow when writing an incident report
A good incident report should include as many details as possible about the event. Here are some tips for writing an effective incident report:
Describe what happened in detail
Include all facts related to the incident, such as who was involved, when and where it took place, how many people were involved and what they were doing at the time of the accident.
For example, if someone fell from scaffolding due to faulty equipment or improper use of equipment, provide as much information about what the person was doing, the equipment they were handling and the safety protocols followed/neglected — so that others can learn from it and avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Be objective when describing events
Don’t editorialize or speculate about why something happened — simply state what happened and how it affected you or others involved in the accident.
The most important thing about being objective is not allowing emotion to cloud your judgment. Write down what you saw and heard, not what you thought or felt at the time. Avoid making assumptions and using words like “I think” or “I believe” when describing the events.
Be as thorough and accurate as possible, but avoid going into excessive detail about things like how you felt during the incident or what others said afterwards.
Use simple language
Your goal should be for anyone who reads your report to understand exactly what happened without needing any additional context or background information. So avoid using complex phrases or technical terms unless necessary. Otherwise, stick with simple language and avoid using abbreviations or acronyms unless they are widely accepted within your industry.
Include photos, if possible
If the incident caused physical damage, take photos so they can be included with your report. Photos will help show any damages or injuries resulting from the situation and clarify any questions about what happened during the incident.
How Safetymint can help in reporting incidents
Safetymint is an online incident management system developed to help organizations manage safety incidents, observations and near misses . It improves your safety culture by getting more people involved in reporting incidents and it enables you to gather the right data to make better decisions.
Safetymint offers a simple & quick process for reporting incidents, which helps ensure that all necessary details are captured and recorded correctly. Employees can report hazards themselves through their mobile phones or computers anywhere and at any time.
No prior training
Safetymint has an intuitive interface that’s direct and simple enough that anyone with a smartphone or access to a computer can quickly report the incidents — without any prior training.
Overall dashboard view
The safety dashboard allows you to track your leading and lagging indicators at one glance to monitor performance and take corrective action wherever necessary. This will help you develop effective solutions for reducing injuries and improving overall workplace health and safety performance.
Custom investigation workflow
Safetymint includes a 5-step incident investigation process which includes the following steps: Incident reporting, Setting up and investigation team, Root cause analysis , Recommended actions and Review and Closure. This process can be used for both internal as well as external investigations.
Capture incidents and near-misses with accuracy.
Resolve incident with a 5-step incident investigation process. Available both on Mobile and Desktop browsers.
- Report Writing On Road Accidents
Report Writing on Road Accidents
Reports are written on multiple topics and are of different types. The most common type of report is the one that documents the happenings and highlights of an event. Newspaper reports and event reports belong to this category. Newspapers publish reports on accidents, crimes, activities of the government, sports, advancements in the field of science and technology, and so on.
In the article, you will see how a report on a road accident can be written. Try to analyse the kind of information that has to be included in the report by going through the sample reports given below.
Sample Report on Road Accident
On Monday, around 11 p.m., a goods truck collided with a car on the National Highway. Both the vehicles were greatly damaged. It is suspected that one of them should have fallen asleep while driving. The highway was blocked for more than an hour due to the accident. Emergency ambulance services arrived at the earliest and all of them were given first aid.
A family of four – Madhavana (65), Nalini (62), Rajesh (35) and Neena (27) – were travelling in the car. The husband and wife sustained multiple fractures and the children were badly injured. The driver of the truck also suffered multiple fractures. All of them were admitted to a nearby hospital.
More traffic policemen have been deployed in the area to ensure smooth and safe travel. The police have been checking the surveillance cameras in the area to check any traffic violations.
Report on Road Accident Example
The roundabout near the main flyover in Chennai witnessed yet another accident early in the morning yesterday. Around 4:45 a.m., an Innova car toppled over the divider and collided with two wheelers on the opposite side of the road. The medical services and police arrived at the spot in a few minutes.
The driver of the Innova was severely injured and died on the spot. The people on the two wheelers have all suffered injuries. They were rushed to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. The police have found out that the driver of the Innova was high on alcohol and suspect that should have been the reason behind the accident.
The city traffic police have all been alerted about the rise in the number of accidents in the city. Caution signs have been put up in all the accident prone areas as a measure to curb the number of accidents all around the city.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can i write a report on a road accident.
When writing a report on road accidents, you should mention all the details about the vehicles that got into the accident and people who have been injured. You should also provide information about the measures taken to help them and the damages caused due to the accident.
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Incident Report Samples to Help You Describe Accidents
Your company’s incident report form should make it easy to record the details of a workplace accident. Even fill-in-the-blank forms require a long-form description of the incident. This portion of the report can be the most difficult part to write.
In this article, we provide completed incident report samples to help you hone your documentation skills.
What Does an Incident Report Need to Include?
An incident report is a formal recording of the facts related to a workplace accident, injury, or near miss . Its primary purpose is to uncover the circumstances and conditions that led to the event in order to prevent future incidents.
Every incident report you file should contain a minimum of the following:
- Type of incident (injury, near miss, property damage, or theft)
- Date of incident
- Time of incident
- Name of affected individual
- A narrative description of the incident, including the sequence of events and results of the incident
- Injuries, if any
- Treatments required, if any
- Witness name(s)
- Witness statements
- Other workers involved
- Video and/or 360-degree photographs of the scene
Include quantifiable measurements where possible. For example, the ladder capacity is 250 lbs and the victim was hoisting 300 lbs.
Finally, where more than one person is injured in an incident, create a unique report for each affected employee . While it’s fine to duplicate general details between reports of this nature, you’ll need to include details specific to that person, such as the event from their point of view or medical records.
When Does an Incident Report Need to Be Completed?
Create an incident report as soon as your employees are safe , which includes seeking medical attention and implementing an immediate corrective action to prevent further danger or damage.
By recording details immediately, you improve the accuracy of your report and the effects of your corrective actions. While it may take a few days to complete your report, it should take you only hours (or less) to start it.
Depending on your company policies and oversight from relevant regulatory bodies, you may be legally bound to complete an incident report within a given amount of time. If the incident resulted in a recordable injury, you must complete OSHA Form 301 within seven days. In addition, you may need to send your report to the organization providing oversight, US Federal or State OSHA , for example, within a given period of time.
Review federal OSHA incident reporting and recordkeeping requirements or visit your state OSHA website for details. Remember that you must also report a fatality, hospitalization, or amputation directly to OSHA.
Safety Management Tip : Safesite Premium users enjoy streamlined OSHA incident recording with Safesite’s OSHA300 log integration feature .
Incident Reporting Mistakes to Avoid
Incident reports are more than a mandatory form to complete: they’re a vital part of your recordkeeping practices both for compliance and safety in general. Their importance means you want to get as much relevant information as you can as quickly as possible. But sometimes, safety teams can get in their own way and miss out on important details by making common mistakes.
Blame-casting and just getting it done are two common incident reporting mistakes you should avoid.
It is easy to go on a witch hunt when accidents happen. However, incident reports aren’t created for the purpose of finding out who’s to blame. While staff should be held responsible (as stipulated by company policy) when they knowingly endanger themselves others, an incident report should focus on improving workplace safety.
If you make it clear you’ll abide by company policy but are not out to cast blame, you increase the likelihood that employees will participate in your incident investigation and provide honest witness statements. These factors create a stronger incident report.
In addition, if you rush through the report to “just get it done,” you may miss out on important details or lack clarity in wording. Irresponsible reporting can lead your team into even more danger, while detailed, clear reporting can lead to improved work conditions and better training.
Three Incident Report Samples
Below are some sample incident report formats for three common types of workplace accidents. Use them as guides to effectively describe events.
Injury and Lost Time Incident Report Sample
If an injury requiring medical treatment, lost time/altered responsibilities happens in your workplace, it’s important to document it ASAP while the details are still fresh in memory.
Here are some of the vital elements to include in your description of the incident:
- Location (Address)
- Date/time of incident
- Name of supervisor
- Description of the incident, including specific job site location, the sequence of events, and the results of the event
- Whether or not proper PPE was being used
- The root cause(s) of the incident
- Associated hazards raised and resolved following the event
- The affected individual’s version of the events
- Actions taken by concerned individuals after the incident
- Description of injuries
- How the decision was made to call (or not to call) emergency services
- Treatment required
- Photographs of the scene
Though the details above seem excessive, mentioning them in the incident report paints a more accurate picture. It’s important to include the above information in as detailed and concise a manner as possible. Holes in your report could lead to inferences and missed opportunities to create a safer workplace.
To write an incident report, use a narrative format. In other words, simply tell the story. Here’s an incident report sample description of a slip or fall resulting in a fracture, written in narrative form:
“On Friday afternoon, February 3, 2019, at 2 p.m. in ABC Shipping Co. located in 13th Avenue, Applewood, one of the warehouse workers (John Keegan) slipped and fell while carrying heavy (85 lbs) inventory. The root cause is believed to be the unavailability of a hand truck or pallet jack. Instead of waiting, John attempted carrying the load himself. A second possible cause is the condition of John’s PPE, specifically his boots, which are very worn in certain places.
When John fell, his colleagues rushed to his assistance. Suspecting a fracture, the supervisor on the floor (Kathy Pickens) decided to call 911. John said he felt a bit dizzy when he lost his balance and that he just ‘tripped over his feet.’ He tried to minimize damage to the load itself while falling, which may have led to a more awkward fall.
Two of his co-workers said that they noticed he was struggling a bit before the fall, but were busy with their own tasks and felt it would be rude to ‘call him out.’ See the attached witness statements for more info.
John was taken to a nearby hospital and a fracture to his wrist was confirmed. John will be out of work for a number of weeks.
The supervisor is currently working with the safety officer (Chris Darnell) to assess the condition of the floor, the number and condition of hand trucks and pallet jacks on the floor, as well as the condition of company-provided boots over two years old.”
As you can see, including the full story, complete with small details and witness statements will help you investigate and recall the incident with greater clarity.
After documenting the incident, you may have legal reporting requirements. Report and store the files according to recordkeeping requirements from regulatory bodies. It’s generally best practice to preserve the files for the duration of employment.
Exposure Incident Report Example
When exposure to dangerous chemicals or pathogens occurs, it’s important to document the event carefully in an incident report.
Including the following details will make your exposure incident report more effective:
- Name of affected individual
- Name of Supervisor
- Description of the incident, including specific job site location, sequence of events, and results of the event
- Name of the chemical/pathogen/carcinogen, amount, concentration, and description of hazard labels/safety data sheets (SDS)
- Exposure monitoring data, if available
- Whether or not a contaminated sharp was involved
- Description of injuries, including body part(s) exposed, length of exposure, and size of area exposed
- Signs and symptoms displayed
- Photographs of the scene and hazard labels involved
Here’s an incident report sample description for overexposure via inhalation:
“Josh Lee, a freight handler in XYZ Shipping Lines, was exposed to carbon monoxide fumes on December 2, 2017, Tuesday, from (estimated) 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM. He was at the unloading bay B, helping unload some freight from various containers with the help of two forklift operators: Kit Stevens and Donald Summers, neither of which complained of symptoms.
During unloading, Lee suddenly experienced lightheadedness and nausea. He informed his supervisor (Donna Martin) that he thought he was ill.
Martin noticed his symptoms were consistent with CO exposure, so she walked over to the area and felt the air quality seemed off. She ran a sensor (Portable Direct Reading Monitor) and discovered that CO levels were on the high end but within the acceptable limit: 30 PPM.
Stevens and Summers were ordered to turn off powered vehicles and sit in fresh air for an hour while the ventilation system could be examined (see attached report).
Lee was driven to the hospital by Martin to receive treatment. On the way, he complained of blurred vision briefly but said that it had cleared up upon walking into the ER. A full report will be attached once received.
Lee’s colleagues, Stevens and Summers, didn’t notice anything out of the norm with the air quality, but Summers acknowledged that at 11:00 AM, his vehicle had been left running near the open end of a container for thirty minutes while Lee was adjusting two improperly arranged pallets just inside. There is no air quality data from that time.”
Be sure to attach medical reports and lost-time from work, if any, to your initial report. Keep the report on hand for the duration of the employee’s tenure with the company, at a minimum.
First Aid Incident Report Sample
Some workplace mishaps result in an injury that requires on-site or walk-in medical first aid treatment. Often, workers can return and finish their shift. Recording an incident report is still vitally important, even where it’s not expressly required by regulatory bodies.
Here is an incident report sample description for incidents resulting in the need for first aid.
“ On May 12, 2019, at around 9:34 AM. at King Street job site, Michael Williams was hit by an air nail gun that had been dropped by Carl Simone near the top of a staircase and gained momentum as it tumbled down.
Williams, who was nailing drywall at the bottom of the staircase and wearing noise protective headphones, eye protection, and a short-sleeved shirt, was hit in the arm, causing a bruise and abrasion. He was treated with antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, a bandage, and an ice pack on site. Williams returned to work within a half hour.
Simone had shouted a warning after he dropped the gun, but Williams said he did not hear it. Simone said that he simply lost his grip, but Williams said he felt that the tool may have been ‘swung’ before dropping. There were no other witnesses to report on the circumstances of the accident.
Simone was wearing gloves when he dropped the nail gun. There are no outstanding hazards related to this incident and all workers will be reminded about glove selection and tool handling at the next safety meeting.”
While you should always document injuries requiring first aid internally, you typically don’t need to add them to your Form 300A or other regulatory reporting. In fact, doing so can needlessly elevate your incident rate.
An Incident Report Template to Improve Your System
Your incident reporting system should allow your employees to easily document all of the information listed in the incident report samples above. If your incident forms are easy to fill out in the field, you’re more likely to capture accurate, timely information.
With Safesite, you can complete an incident report in six easy steps:
- Tap Log Incident
- Select your inicent report type (injury, near miss, property damage, theft, or equipment failure) and location, date, and time
- Input your incident description and an incident photo
- Tag the person involved and witnesses from your team
- Complete root cause analysis
- Log your incident
Safesite’s incident report form can be filled out on-site via iOS or Android app. It includes places to record the details of the event, images of the scene, and witness statements. It also allows you to raise associated hazards and identify a root cause.
An incident report can also be completed using paper, but many companies now look to secure software to not only document and store incidents but also to trend problem areas and reveal safety gaps.
Not ready to go mobile yet? Here’s a paper template you can edit and use in the meantime:
Raising and Resolving Hazards
Many incidents and near misses will involve hazards that could cause immediate or future harm to your employees if not resolved. From tagging and removing damaged equipment from service to safely dismantling corrupted structures, your incident reporting process is not truly complete until you resolve the danger.
To keep things straightforward, include hazard descriptions and actions on your incident reports. With Safesite, you can create hazards from within an incident report by tapping Add Root Cause Hazard. Then, you’ll be able to alert your team of the hazard in real-time and assign it to someone for resolution. And you can do it without deviating from your incident report.
Tip: Want to streamline hazard management without missing a beat? Check out our guide to faster hazard recognition and resolution .
Go Forth and Report
When writing incident reports, be objective about the details. Your main goal is improving workplace safety, not pointing fingers at who is responsible. The incident report samples provided show that by staying true to the facts, you encourage employee participation in your investigations.
Digital reporting automates part of the process, saving you time and reducing human error. Improve your incident reporting process by using a digital reporting tool, like Safesite , that integrates alerts and hazard resolution in a single place.
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Accident and Incident Reports
What is it? An accident or incident report documents an injury, accident, work stoppage, equipment failure, worker illness, or personal problem.
You might write an accident/incident report if:
- Someone was injured at work
- Machinery broke
- Machinery malfunctioned
- Work stopped for a significant period of time
- An employee complained of harassment or bullying
- A fight occurred in the workplace
- An employee came to work intoxicated
Why is it important? Accident and incident reports can be used in insurance claims, workers’ compensation awards, and even lawsuits.
Poorly written accident/incident reports may place blame where it does not belong or deflect blame from guilty parties. The stakes are high when writing these reports, so it is important to follow the instruction provided in this unit carefully.
What goes in an accident/incident report? Accident/incident reports should include at least the following:
- What happened
- Why it happened
- What the business did about it or is going to do about it
Checklist for Accident/Incident Reports – make sure your report contains as much of the following:
- Date of event
- Full names of people involved
- Names of witnesses
- Events leading up to the accident
- Environmental condition if applicable (slippery floors, poor lighting, hazardous materials etc.)
- Description of the job duty that was being performed at the time of the incident/accident
- Detailed description of the event
- Parts of body injured and/or parts of equipment damaged (in an injury occurred)
- Description of employee’s response immediately after the event (grabbing injured arm, running from room etc.)
- Extent of damage
- Treatment of injury or course of action taken
Some employers may also ask for an analysis of why the event took place and a recommendation for future prevention.
Audience: Since these reports have legal ramifications, the writer should consider the audience to be anyone from the people involved in the incident to investigators and/or law enforcement to judges.
- Witnesses : Unless you are working alone, you should always seek as many perspectives as is reasonable and possible when writing an accident/incident report. Different people may see different things or remember the situation differently.
- Neutral Language : Because these documents may be used in court or in other legal proceedings, it is important to use specific facts and neutral statements instead of impressions or emotional statements
Poor Example (too biased/emotional): John was just doing his job, working hard like he always does, and being a great team player when Mark rammed into him with the forklift like he was some hit man from an action movie.
Good Example (neutral and specific): John Smith was loading boxes on shelf B2 when Mark Peterson backed into him with the forklift, causing John to fall backwards and hit a stack of boxes on the floor.
Poor Example (based on impressions): It just seemed like Gus was always kind of sweet on Tanya, but he was kind of creepy at the same time. He just made everyone feel uncomfortable. He was too touchy-feely.
Good Example (neutral and specific): On March 13, 2014, three employees (Margo Swinton, Barb Gell, and Tom Haven) heard Gus Brown say he had a crush on Tanya Vincent (another employee) and that he would do anything to “get in her pants.” On March 14, 23, and 29, Tanya reported to her supervisor that Gus Brown made her feel uncomfortable because he continued to give her a back rub after she said she did not want him to touch her.
Technical Writing for Technicians Copyright © 2019 by Will Fleming is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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August 17, 2017
How to Write a Good Accident or Incident Report
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Jack Benton from EHS Safety News America shares with us the key elements in writing a good and informative accident or incident report.
An incident report needs to include all the essential information about the accident or near-miss. The report-writing process begins with fact finding and ends with recommendations for preventing future accidents.
You may use a special incident reporting form, and it might be quite extensive. But writing any incident report involves four basic steps, and those are the focus of today’s post.
1. Find the Facts
To prepare for writing an accident report, you have to gather and record all the facts. For example:
- Date, time, and specific location of incident
- Names, job titles, and department of employees involved and immediate supervisor(s)
- Names and accounts of witnesses
- Events leading up to incident
- Exactly what employee was doing at the moment of the accident
- Environmental conditions (e.g. slippery floor, inadequate lighting, noise, etc.)
- Circumstances (including tasks, equipment, tools, materials, PPE , etc.)
- Specific injuries (including part(s) of body injured and nature and extent of injuries)
- Type of treatment for injuries
- Damage to equipment, materials, etc.
2. Determine the Sequence
Based on the facts, you should be able to determine the sequence of events . In your report, describe this sequence in detail, including:
- Events leading up to the incident. Was the employee walking, running, bending over, squatting, climbing, lifting operating machinery, pushing a broom, turning a valve, using a tool, handling hazardous materials , etc.?
- Events involved in the incident. Was the employee struck by an object or caught in/on/between objects? Did the worker fall on the same level or from a height? Did the employee inhale hazardous vapors or get splashed with a hazardous chemical?
- Events immediately following the incident. What did the employee do: Grab a knee? Start limping? Hold his/her arm? Complain about back pain? Put a hand over a bleeding wound? Also, describe how other co-workers responded. Did they call for help, administer first aid, shut down equipment, move the victim, etc.?
The incident should be described on the report in sufficient detail that any reader can clearly picture what happened. You might consider creating a diagram to show, in a simple and visually effective manner, the sequence of events related to the incident and include this in your incident report. You might also wish to include photos of the accident scene, which may help readers follow the sequence of events.
Your report should include an in-depth analysis of the causes of the accident. Causes include:
- Primary cause (e.g., a spill on the floor that caused a slip and fall )
- Secondary causes (e.g., employee not wearing appropriate work shoes or carrying a stack of material that blocked vision)
- Other contributing factors (e.g., burned out light bulb in the area).
Recommendations for corrective action might include immediate corrective action as well as long-term corrective actions such as:
- Employee training on safe work practices
- Preventive maintenance activities that keep equipment in good operating condition
- Evaluation of job procedures with a recommendation for changes
- Conducting a job hazard analysis to evaluate the task for any other hazards and then train employees on these hazards
- Engineering changes that make the task safer or administrative changes that might include changing the way the task is performed
This article was written by Jack Benton and retrieved from EHS Safety News America
Need help with your safety training? The following training blogs and titles are available to help with work place safety incidents:
How to Write an Incident Report in 5 Easy Steps
OSHA Recordkeeping for Employees
OSHA Recordkeeping for Managers and Supervisors
Get safety training mentioned in this article below:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Safety Housekeeping and Accident Prevention
*All of the titles listed come in Online Interactive training formats, Video on Demand, USB, DVD, Downloadable files, and SCORM 1.2 course files*
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How to Write a Motor Vehicle Accident Report
Last Updated: November 8, 2023 Approved
Describing the incident, diagramming the scene, sample accident report, expert q&a.
This article was co-authored by Lahaina Araneta, JD and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Lahaina Araneta, Esq. is an Immigration Attorney for Orange County, California with over 6 years of experience. She received her JD from Loyola Law School in 2012. In law school, she participated in the immigrant justice practicum and served as a volunteer with several nonprofit agencies. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 489,420 times.
Typically when you're in an accident on the road, the police will complete a police report describing the accident. However, in some cases you may need to submit your own report, either to your insurance company or your state's DMV. If you need to write a motor vehicle report, take time to gather accurate information so you can describe the incident with as much detail as possible.  X Research source
Things You Should Know
- Copy down the driver's license, vehicle, and insurance information from the other driver. Get contact information for any witnesses, as well.
- Explain what happened and who was involved, including the location and nature of the accident as well as any injuries or property damage.
- Take photos and/or create a diagram of the scene that shows what happened.
- Check to make sure that there are no injuries. If someone is hurt, call for help first before trying to get their information.
- Get the other driver's license. Write down their name, home address, birth date, and gender. You'll also want the name of the state that issued their license, their license number, and the date it expires. Give them this information for yourself as well.
- If the other driver does not have insurance or identification, call the police. Tell the police that you cannot get the required legal documents of the other driver. They will come out and handle the situation.
- Write down specifics about where there is damage. For example, you might say "Sedan has broken bumper and dent in the rear quarter panel."
- Take down the license tag number for all the vehicles, along with the name of the state. You also might want to make note of the vehicle's VINs (vehicle identification numbers) for insurance purposes.
- If you get their phone number, make a note of when is the best time to reach them at that number.
- Take your photos as soon as possible after the accident occurs, so the light and weather conditions are similar. Photograph the scene from multiple angles if it is possible for you to do this safely.
- You also might want to take pictures of all the people involved in the accident. These can be helpful later if someone claims an injury later when they seemed fine at the scene.
- If you were injured, take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible – ideally, before they are treated by a medical professional.
- It's best to get a statement from a witness at the scene, and then get their phone number in case you need to follow up with them later. Many witnesses won't come forward after the accident. If possible, take a video or audio recording on your phone of their statement.
- Write down exactly where they were when the accident occurred. If possible, take pictures of the scene from where they were standing, so you have an image of their vantage point. If there are any signs, posts, trees, or other objects obscuring their line of sight, make a note of those as well.
- You'll also need the same information for any other drivers who were involved in the accident. If there were passengers or pedestrians also involved in the accident, provide their names, ages, and genders.
- Get numbers of first-responder vehicles and the names and badge numbers of first responders, if possible.
- Your city or state may have a specific form for you to fill out that includes spaces for specific details, such as the weather, light, and road conditions.
- If you don't remember the conditions and weren't able to take any photos, leave these details blank – don't just guess or look up an old weather report. You need to be able to vouch for every detail included in your report.
- Provide any photos or videos you have showing the conditions at the time of the accident to support your case.
- For example, if the accident occurred on the interstate, you would need to note the name and direction of the interstate as well as the mile markers or any exits before and after the accident. Include the estimated distance from the nearest marker.
- On city streets, you also might want to include any landmarks. Describe the street, including whether there is a sidewalk or bike lane.
- If any other property was involved, describe it as well as where it is relative to the street.
- For example, suppose the other driver rolled through an intersection and hit the side of your car while you had the right of way. You can say that you had the right of way – that's a fact. However, a statement such as "the other driver wasn't paying attention" would be an opinion.
- If there are gaps in your memory or specific details you don't remember, state in your report that you don't remember. That way you can fill in the detail later if your memory returns.
- If there were pedestrians involved, describe what they were doing. For example, the pedestrian may have been crossing the street in the sidewalk, or may have run out in traffic to retrieve something.
- You also might want to describe where they were located relative to the scene of the accident and what they saw. For example, the person may have been standing on the corner waiting to cross the street when the accident happened, or they may have come over afterward.
- If you managed to get a video or recording of the witness, include it in your report. If the witness doesn't come forward, this recording can act as evidence instead.
- If you or anyone else called 911, give an approximate time that call took place and describe who showed up at the scene.
- If paramedics arrived, discuss whether anyone was treated at the scene or transported to a hospital for further treatment.
- Provide a rough estimate of property damage or damage to vehicles involved in the crash. You should state specifically if you believe a vehicle to be totaled.
- If there were any fatalities as a result of the accident, list them separately. Include the name, age, and gender of anyone injured, and classify the severity of their injuries as best you can. Describe where on the body the injury was located and the person's role in the accident. If they were immediately transported to a hospital, provide the name of the hospital where they were taken.
- Just stick to the specific road or other area where the accident took place. There's no need to include adjoining blocks or side streets if they weren't directly involved in the accident.
- Make sure you have the correct number of lanes and that any traffic lights or signs are marked correctly.
- For example, suppose the accident occurred at an intersection. You were heading north, while the other car was headed west. Draw an arrow for the cars to indicate the direction in which they're traveling, and write out each of the directions along the four sides of your drawing.
- If there were other cars nearby that weren't involved in the accident, you can still draw boxes for them if you want, but don't worry about getting too detailed. Other cars are only really important to the extent that they affected the ability of you or the other driver to avoid the accident.
- If the speed the cars were traveling is in dispute, make a note of this on your report, but keep your reported facts objective. If you thought the driver of the other car was going faster than they claimed they were going, simply say it appeared they were going one speed, but they claim they were going another speed.
- If they were in another vehicle but were not involved in the accident, draw a box to represent their vehicle and put their "X" inside. Note if they were a passenger or driver of the vehicle, and where they were seated.
- If a witness's view was partially obstructed, include whatever obstructed their view in your diagram.
- After you sign and date your accident report, make a copy of it for your records before you submit it to the relevant authorities.
- Generally you want to submit your accident report as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Check with the company or department where you need to send your report and find out if there's a deadline you must meet.
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.dmv.org/insurance/when-to-report-an-auto-accident-to-the-dmv.php
- ↑ https://www.dmv.ca.gov/web/eng_pdf/sr1.pdf
- ↑ http://injury.findlaw.com/car-accidents/after-a-car-accident-first-steps.html
- ↑ http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Forms/DMV/32fill.pdf
- ↑ https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv104.pdf
- ↑ http://thelawdictionary.org/article/how-to-write-an-accident-report/
- ↑ https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv104.pdf/
About This Article
To write a motor vehicle accident report, start by getting the other driver’s name and insurance information. You should also write down information about their vehicle, including the year, make, model, color, and license plate number, as well as a description of the damage. For example, you might say "Sedan has broken bumper and dent in the rear quarter panel." If you have a camera or smart phone, take pictures of the vehicle damage, the surrounding area, and any injuries so you can describe the incident in your report in as much detail as possible. For more tips from our legal co-author, like how to make a diagram of the accident, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Blog Human Resources
How to Write an Effective Incident Report [Templates]
By Victoria Clarke , Jun 13, 2023
We all do our best to ensure a happy and healthy workforce. That’s why, in a perfect world, you would never have to create an incident report.
But since incidents do happen, it’s never a bad idea to be prepared for any situation–especially the unexpected.
Small business owners, human resources teams and workplace emergency first responders: this is the article for you!
In this step-by-step guide, we’ll share our top tips on creating incident reports that will help you carry out effective investigations and make sure similar (or more serious) incidents don’t happen again. We’ll also include our top incident report templates to get the job done.
Table of Contents:
- What is an Incident Report?
- Incident Report Examples, Templates and Design Tips
- Simple Incident Report Template
- COVID-19 Employee Incident Report Templates
- How to Write an Incident Report
All of the templates in this post can be customized using our easy online incident report maker tool. It’s free to sign up, many of our templates are free to use too.
1. What is an Incident Report?
An incident report is a form to document all workplace illnesses, injuries, near misses and accidents. An incident report should be completed at the time an incident occurs no matter how minor an injury is.
Here’s one example:
Any illness or injury that impacts an employee’s ability to work must be noted. The specifics of what is required by law to be included in an incident report will vary depending on the federal or provincial legislation that affects your workplace.
If you’re unsure, you can take a look at your government’s website for more details. In certain cases, there are exceptions that can exempt small businesses from complying with such legislation.
2. Incident Report Examples and Design Tips
Here are some examples of types of incident reports to help you get started. I’ve also included some report design tips to help you present your information effectively. We’ve also got a comprehensive guide to general report design if you want to dig a bit deeper into the topic.
Incorporate your branding into your report design
As with any document you create for your business, it’s good practice to incorporate your branding into your incident reports. (Psst– Venngage’s Brand Kit feature makes it easy to add your branding in just a click!)
Include your brand colors in your design. You can do this by using them in the report header, footer, sidebar , and in any visuals.
You could use your brand colors in the background of your incident report:
You may also want to include your logo, like in this incident report template :
Organize your information into sections using boxes
To make your information as readable as possible, organize it into sections. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using boxes.
For example, take a look at how these types of incident report templates use boxes to section off the information:
This type of incident report example also uses rectangles to denote section headers:
Color code the sections of your incident case report
Colors aren’t just great for making your reports , presentations and charts more interesting to look at. You can also use color to organize sections of your report and to draw attention to key information.
For more tips on using color in your designs, read our guide on how to pick colors to communicate effectively .
Add a visual header to your incident report
As part of your company branding, you may want to add a visual header to your reports. For example, this incident case report template uses a neutral photo with a color filter to create a professional header:
You can do this in Venngage by overlaying a photo on a color background and adjusting the opacity of the photo:
You can use the same effect for sidebars as well:
Make a mock form to offer new team members as an example
If you’re transitioning in staff or something happens when the individual who owns incident reports is away, it’s very important that there is a process documented . That will ensure that if someone is put on the spot, they can fill in the incident report properly.
It can also be helpful to add brief descriptions of the information in the type of incident report to include in each field. Take a look at how this incident report example offers some brief text to guide the person filling it out:
Use icons to visualize concepts
Icons are small, compact visuals that can be used to reinforce the information in your reports. You can also use them to draw attention to specific fields and important pieces of information.
For example, this incident case report template uses icons to indicate the purpose of each field:
3. How to Write an Incident Report
It’s important to establish a systematic method for investigating incidents.
It’s also equally important to have a report prepared that enables you to record every relevant aspect of the incident details–this is the essential first step in the incident reporting process.
After you’ve created your incident report form, you can:
- Begin your investigation with fact-finding
- And end your investigation with determining recommendations for preventing both an increase in the severity of the incident and the possibility of a recurrence.
To write any incident case reports, follow the basic format described below.
1. Take Immediate Action
Employees of your organization should notify their manager or another member of the company’s leadership committee as soon as an incident occurs–regardless of the nature of the event (whether it be an accident, illness, injury, or near miss).
That being said, there need to be communication channels clearly defined to promote the practice of employees coming forward in these situations and the importance of such.
Once an incident has been reported, the member of leadership’s first responsibility is to ensure that appropriate treatment, if necessary, is being administered to those affected by the event.
On this note: if the hazard still exists, the manager that the event has been reported to must eliminate the hazard by controlling it. Each company should have a defined procedure for accomplishing this based on the nature of their work.
For example, if there was a spill that caused a fall. You would attend to the victim and promptly have the spill wiped up and identify the area as a hazard by using a sign.
2. Collect the Facts
Once the immediate action including the response to the event and eliminating the hazard from the environment has been conducted, it’s time to determine and record the facts related to the incident details.
9 facts related to the incident include:
1. the basics.
Identify the specific location, time and date of the incident. This information is fundamental to the investigation and the most obvious information to collect.
2. The Affected
Collect details of those involved and/or affected by the incident. This would entail recording the name(s) of the individual(s) involved, their job title(s), the department(s) they operate in the manager(s) of those affected.
3. The Witnesses
Speak to any witnesses of the event to collect their perspectives of the event. Record their statements as detailed and accurate as possible in the form.
To ensure accuracy, it’s best practice to review your notes with the witness to ensure they agree with how the event is portrayed in the report. It’s also important to include the name(s) of any witnesses in the report in case any additional questioning is required.
4. The Context
Consider and document the events that occurred leading up to the incident. Ask:
- What was the employee doing?
- Who asked them to complete the task? How was the employee feeling prior to the incident? …etc.
It is important to identify which factors were an outcome of the incident and which factors were present prior to the incident and could be a potential contributing factor to the incident occurring.
5. The Actions
In the report, you must specify the actions of those involved at the time of the incident. What did the employee do that led to the incident?
For example, if an employee injured their back when lifting a box at work, it is important to determine how that employee lifted the box to decide if that contributed to the injury. If yes, then inquire if this employee was trained properly for this task and by who or what source.
6. The Environment
Identify and record environmental conditions that contributed to the event. Was there inadequate lighting? Was a piece of equipment not operating properly? Was the employees’ visibility obstructed by a glare or blind spot? Etc.
7. The Injuries
Record detailed descriptions of specific injuries and evaluate the severity of such in the report. This description should include part(s) of the body injured, nature and extent of injuries.
8. The Treatment
It is also important to document in the incident case report the type of treatment administered for the acknowledged injuries. This information is important to document in order to understand how the employee recovers when reviewing the specifics of the event.
9. The Damages
Record an account of any damage to equipment, materials, etc that was affected by the incident. This will be helpful to refer back during the analysis of the event in order to consider both a corrective action plan and to determine what items will need to be repaired or replaced.
3. Analyze and Reflect
Collecting and recording the facts related to the occurrence of the incident will aid in determining how the incident occurred. Analyzing the collected facts related to the incident will aid in determining why the incident occurred.
Analyzing and determining how and why the incident occurred is essential in order to develop an effective corrective action plan.
Potential causes for accidents or injuries that occurred in the workplace could include:
- Primary causes (for example, an unsalted ice patch on a set of stairs that caused a slip and fall).
- Secondary causes (for example, an employee not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a hard helmet or eyewear).
- Other contributing causes (for example: a burned-out light bulb in the area causing poor visibility).
4. Establish a Corrective Action Plan
A Corrective Action Plan would provide recommendations as a means to reduce the possibility of a continued issue and/or recurrence of the incident details. The recommendations would result from an effective analysis of the facts collected and documented in the incident report.
Elements of an effective Corrective Action Plan could include:
- Occupational Health & Safety training for employees
- Preventative routine maintenance processes that ensure equipment is in proper working condition
- A review of job practices and procedures with a recommendation for changes to reduce the risk of incidents
- Conducting a job hazard analysis to determine if other potential hazards are associated with the task and/or environment and then training employees on these hazards based on the findings of the assessment
- Engineering, equipment or PPE changes/upgrades to ensure the task or the process of completing said task poses less risk
Incident Report Examples
Covid-19 employee incident report template.
Blue Healthcare employee critical incident report template
Although being prepared for the unexpected is often difficult, preventative measures are the cornerstone of maintaining a happy and healthy working environment for yourself and your workforce.
Incident reports are not only a defining piece in any company’s incident response protocol, but they provide a means to avoid recurring mishaps and/or inspire change.
That’s why it is crucial to have a relevant and comprehensive incident report form prepared and on hand for any incident details that may arise. By adhering to your jurisdiction’s legislation and considering the four components prescribed above, you’ll be well-prepared to handle incidents effectively.
The effect of responding to workplace incidents in a timely and detail-oriented manner will not only ensure a safe workplace but also:
- Reassure your employees that their employer is prepared to take the right steps in any situation
- Ensure all appropriate parties are fully informed of incidents
- Establish a record of incidents for future reference
- Protect both you/your company and your employees from lawsuits and disputes
FAQs about incident reports
What is the purpose of incident reporting.
An incident report is used to describe an event that requires an investigation that needs to be documented.
What is in an incident report?
Any event that may or may not have caused any injuries to a person is considered an incident that requires documentation in the form of an incident report.
Types of incident reports
- Accident Reports
- Workplace Incident Report
More HR guides and templates: