How to Increase the Number of Incidents Reported?

Safety and Quality Managers often face the problem of not receiving enough incident observations. The means of collecting data are still very diverse and not necessarily very efficient. After all, the goal is to collect objective and numerous observations directly from employees.

Data collection should be efficient

One story tells how a safety manager took the company interns to a manufacturing site and told them to spot at least five risk factors. After the team of interns had completed the task, they all returned to the office and inserted the information in the company intranet. Interns were offered coffee tickets as incentives. This kind of a situation is nothing unusual. Companies collect deviations in order to map out possible risk factors and avoid severe accidents. But the way of collecting data should be well-planned and efficient. Giving out coffee tickets is not the problem. Providing incentives is actually a good idea, but having the company interns randomly look for deviations is not the best solution. Therefore, the question is, how to efficiently increase incident reporting?

Mobile tools are the solution


Everybody has a mobile phone. The most efficient tool today is mobile software that can be easily accessed in any location whether the question is a construction or a manufacturing site, a hospital or a shopping mall. The actual location or type of business doesn’t matter, but the benefits of a mobile software are great for all types of organisations. The most important factor in mobile reporting is its ability to notably lower the threshold for incident reporting and hence increase the number of observations. Not to mention easily adding photos.

Let’s imagine a man working at a factory. He notices a deviation and knows that he should report on it. He needs to walk all the way to the other end of the factory to find the little office along with the desktop computer. He first needs to remember his username and password to log in and insert the deviation information. He’s most likely to answer on a blank form. In contrary, the other option is to have a mobile tool in his pocket. Right when he spots a deviation, he can take his cell phone out and tap an application which presents clear visual categories. He chooses the suitable incident category, and that’s it. It only takes seconds to complete the reporting process. So no walking around the factory and signing up in the company intranet. Later on, the inserted data is automatically generated into a full report, which the safety manager can further introduce to other stakeholders.

The same goes for employees in retail stores or security personnel in a shopping centre. 

Incident categories make the difference

As previously described, employees are still sometimes asked to write down incidents or risk factors on a piece of paper or find a computer with company intranet. They are expected to be creative and come up with their own words on describing various types of situations. In contrast, a mobile safety software provides the user with distinct options to choose from. There’s no blank paper, but clear pre-determined terminology and categories to choose from. It doesn’t only help the employee to be specific with incident reporting, but also facilitates understanding in the management end. There’s no need to interpret bad handwriting, collect papers or try to categorise a wide array of different terms that the employees have come up with.

Easy reporting builds safety culture

Another great benefit in pre-determined categories is reminding people about their existence. When employees see various incident categories on their mobile reporting software, they become more aware of different incident types and start paying more attention to other possible factors, too. Involving everyone in the company to notice deviations is part of building a great company safety culture. A solid safety culture with the right mobile tools increases the amount of incident reporting which further facilitates building safety metrics and analysing trends.

If you want to broaden your knowledge around the bigger picture of incident and observation reporting, check out our new blog series about the VUCA framework. For a real-life example of how our tool incy.io streamlined incident reporting in a company, get the ITIS case study FREE today:

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HSEQ Management Tool Incident Reporting Safety at Workplace

Anthony Jones

Chief Operating Officer