Near misses, accidents, injuries, damages to property, theft, harassment... When these things happen in a work environment, it’s important to have them reported.
Why is it important? Well, it provides evidence and documentation for investigations and prevents incidents from happening in the future. Good incident reporting also helps to cultivate a culture of safety and support in the work environment. So, there are many benefits to incident reporting.
To gather the best information, a business needs to know how to write good reports that are factual, detailed, and specific. It should also have systems in place to support the investigation of reports and the development of recommendations and changes.
Improve Incident Reporting With These 6 Tips
Effective incident reporting systems optimise improvement. The biggest goal of incident reporting is to deal with issues by implementing changes, improving awareness of a problem, and building a database of information. These require active and speedy engagement from all parties - including witnesses, management, insurers, victims, or those affected.
If your business’ reporting system is outdated and runs at a snail’s pace, you can guarantee less reported cases and probably more incidents! You can avoid this by improving your incident reporting using these tips:
1. (Over)Communicate The Importance Via Multiple Channels
Repetition, repetition, repetition! If you speak about the importance of reporting once and never again, your employees are unlikely to take it seriously. By emphasising what incident reporting is, its importance, and how people can report, you encourage increased reporting.
Workshops and training, pamphlets, emails, and mentioning it in staff meetings and communications are channels you can use to better inform your staff. You can also use faster digital channels like text messages, phone calls, e-mails, and chat groups among others. The more they know, the more likely they will be to report.
2. Go Mobile
In the age of rapid technological advancements, everybody loves living a life of convenience. If your staff needs to fill in a million paper forms and documents, and have multiple meetings with different managers to file a report, they probably won’t do it because it’s too much hassle.
This is why having a mobile incident management platform for reporting can make a significant difference. Instead of having to bypass bureaucratic red tape to report, everybody can report simply on their cellphones. This makes the process much more efficient and easier to follow up on.
3. Add And Speed Up The Feedback Loops
Having a good incident management platform helps to keep everyone involved in the know. These platforms can be updated in real-time, which means speedy feedback and easy access to details and advice.
Feedback loops are vital to keeping everyone informed. This way, even witnesses can be aware of the progress of their report. Again, if people feel like reporting is hopeless and useless, they just won’t do it! So, keep your feedback and communication channels connected. These channels should be working and active from the initial report to the end of the case.
4. Add More Use Cases
The more variety your incident reporting system allows, the more cases will be reported. If you only tell your staff about accident reporting or near-miss reporting, then it is likely that these will be the only cases that they report. The same can be said if you just have one type of incident forms.
Remember that different employees naturally notice different types of issues. For example, if you use incident reporting for safety, you should consider forms that include quality, environmental, security, and IT incidents. Having all of them in a single system makes it easier for employees to report all types of observations. Being prepared for incidents and having more cases also improves your understanding of how to handle future occurrences.
5. Present Results
It’s no good being all talk and having no proof. Gather statistics, keep reported documents safe and organised and use analytics to your benefit. Utilising a mobile incident management platform can help you collect all these bits and pieces together.
These platforms can also allow you to create useful analytics that you can use for recommendations and feedback across your organisation.
6. Share Lessons Learned
Communication again! Let your staff know when an incident happens, what you’re doing about it, and what the results are. Transparency nurtures forthcoming attitudes from people wanting to report.
Nobody should feel like reports are some big secret where fingers are being pointed at who’s to blame for the incident. So, by sharing the results of reports and the lessons learned from them, businesses can improve workplace safety and prevent future incidents from occurring. The bigger the database of lessons learned, the more material you also have for workplace safety training sessions.
Incident reports are all about improvements like improving health and safety conditions for workers, bettering communication and the sharing of feedback relating to reports, as well as nurturing the culture of open reporting and awareness.
The only way to make these improvements come to fruition is by asking yourself, “What can we do better?”.
If you're looking for a incident reporting platform that is hyper easy-to-use, ticks all the boxes for anonymity, two-way communication, has built-in workflows for multiple use cases and more, have a look at our incy.io | Whistleblowing module and contact us for more information!
We're a tech company with a passion for helping our customers adapt to the fast changing VUCA world. We're doing that by developing easy-to-use SaaS products that make gathering, managing and analysing field information as easy as possible for the end users. Remove gatekeepers, go horizontal and learn from your mistakes before they actually happen. More info at planbrothers.io