From simple falls to hazardous energy to machinery malfunctions, workplace incidents are more common than you might think. In some cases, consequences might be simple, such as a break in productivity. But other times, incidents could have outcomes that are as severe as death.
If an incident occurs in your workplace, it’s your responsibility to write up a workplace incident report that documents the issue. Incident reports are important because they allow company leadership to take corrective action and ensure all employees are safe and efficient moving forward.
You can use an incident report template from Visme to create a professional, branded report that includes the need-to-know information and makes it easy for incident witnesses to file the document. Let’s jump into why incident reports are so important and how to write your own.
Table of Contents
What Is an Incident Report?
An incident report is a document that explains the details involved in a workplace incident, which is defined as any unexpected event that results in property damage or minor injury. Examples of workplace incidents include:
- An accident
- An injury
- An illness
- A near miss (a situation that could have resulted in an injury)
- Anything that violates company policy, affects workplace operations, or poses significant risks to the safety of employees or guests
Incident reports include all of the facts related to the incident, such as the contact information of the people involved; a description of the incident itself; and any follow-up actions that were taken, like medical treatment. These reports are important because they help create a safer workplace where all employees will be better protected.
Any employee that witnesses an incident can file a report. The incident needs to be reported as soon as possible — ideally, within less than 24 hours.
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3 Benefits of Incident Reporting in a Workplace
There are several advantages of creating incident reports in your workplace:
1. Provides Necessary Consequences
In some cases, an incident may require consequences to an employee who engaged in inappropriate behavior. Incident reports help managers know what kind of corrective action they may need to take. These consequences can also help prevent future accidents.
2. Creates Hazard Awareness
Another big benefit of incident reporting: it keeps other employees safe by communicating potential dangers or problems. When an incident report is filed, company managers will be able to pinpoint and straighten out any potential safety issues.
This includes things like machinery that isn’t working, or safety equipment that is lacking. Incident reports help all employees be more aware of possible dangers around them and how to stay safe.
3. Helps Analyze Processes
When a workplace incident is reported, company leadership will be able to analyze the incident, thinking critically about what went wrong and why. From there, you’ll be able to define the next steps necessary to move forward with everyone’s safety in line.
Incident reports also provide insight into what processes could be tweaked or removed to maximize efficiency. The bottom line: Incident reporting helps improve a workplace in multiple important ways.
How to Write a Workplace Incident Report in 4 Steps
Looking for an easy way to design a workplace incident report? You can use the Visme creator to make an incident report by either starting from scratch with a completely unique design, or working off of a predefined incident report template that can be customized.
Either way, here’s what you’ll need to do.
1. Gather the Information
As soon as an incident happens, take action to start filing a report. Once the situation is stable and employees are no longer in danger, get all of the information you’ll need. This will include:
- The location, time and date of the incident
- Who was affected, including their job titles and contact information
- What happened (as told by the person affected and/or any witnesses)
- Contributing factors or any relevant contextual or environmental details
- The outcome (such as any injuries sustained, and how these were treated)
- Any damage to equipment or materials
Customize this detailed incident report using Visme’s software, adding additional information or editing what’s there so the incident report better fits your needs.
2. Structure and Organize The Report
Divide up the information you’ve gathered into categories that make sense. Then structure the information in a format that works well visually. Sectioning off different categories into boxes is a good way to do this, making it easy to understand the form at a glance.
Our Visme document creator allows you to drag-and-drop boxes wherever you want to create a structure that’s easy to follow. If you’re using an existing template, just click a box and then drag it around or delete it entirely. You can also add shapes, diagrams or completely change the layout of the form.
3. Include Your Branding
Your incident report form is a business document, so it should be branded just like all of your other business documents. Add your brand colors in the header, footer, and sidebars, and include your logo somewhere on the report.
This branding should include fonts, too, including header fonts and body fonts. It’s best to type the details of an incident report instead of writing by hand so that the report is easy to read and easy to digitally send.
This red-and-black template could be tweaked, keeping the same general structure of the form but adding in colors that work with your brand.
4. Create a Template
Save your finished incident report and keep it on hand for future use. You know incidents are going to happen — so it’s best to be prepared with an incident report that’s ready to go. A little time investment now to make a template that’s comprehensive, branded and visually attractive will pay off later when you don’t have to scramble.
A good incident report template will be usable for any type of incident. It should be easy to follow for any employee who witnesses or is part of an incident. If you feel that it’s necessary, you can add a line to each section explaining what to write in that box.
10 Incident Report Templates You Can Download Now
Get started with your workplace incident report by using one of our templates. Created by professional designers, these premium templates are available for anyone with a Visme account.
Each workplace incident report template can be opened in the Visme editor for quick drag-and-drop customization. Let’s take a look at our favorite ones below.
1. Medical Incident Report
Perfect for anyone in the medical or healthcare industry, our medical incident report contains space for all of the relevant information you need to know: patient information, the concerned physician, patient medical history, current injury symptoms, observation and any medical exams or medications administered.
2. Security Incident Report
Stay on top of security with this cybersecurity incident report. This customizable report covers information including the details of the incident, the systems or data affected and whether assistance is needed from information security. With cyberattacks running rampant, it’s good to be prepared in case your business is targeted.
3. Standard Incident Report
Stick to the basics with this no-frills, minimalist incident report. Two simple sections include space for incident information and incident description. This form is a great grab-and-go option if you’re short on time and looking for a predefined report that doesn’t require extra work from your end.
4. Tech Company Incident Report
This five-page incident report ensures you’ll be able to give a comprehensive overview of the situation. After a cover page and table of contents, you’ll find an Incident Description page where you can add the incident details. Next comes Solution Details — fill in how the problem was solved. Finally, if needed you can add a third page explaining the Test Run Results, or what happened when you first gave the solution a go.
5. Detailed Incident Report
If a more complex incident occurred, this detailed incident report may be a good fit to help explain the information. The form is broken down into three primary categories: information about the person being reported, incident description and the cause of the incident. There’s also space to add analytical evaluation and further recommendations.
6. Statement Incident Report
The Statement Incident Report template is brief, but includes all of the necessary information that an incident report needs. Start with the details of the person reporting the incident; then move on to a short description of the event. Finally, add statements from the individuals or parties involved.
7. Employee Incident Report
This report template breaks down an incident based on what actions have already been taken and what else needs to be done. Use the Visme creator to edit the template and add your own branding. Then download as a PDF or share online.
8. Finance Company Incident Report
If you’re a finance company, this sleek tan-and-gray incident report template is for you. This document has space for contact details, a description of the incident (including its causes and whether police were notified) and who reported the event.
9. Workplace Incident Report
Tweak the colors and fonts to make this workplace incident report your own. Four simple sections are included against a white background: Add the relevant employee information, incident information, reporter information and tick off whether the police were notified.
10. Factory Incident Report
Incidents commonly occur in workplaces like factories where employees are working with machinery. Keep a copy of this factory incident report on hand in case it’s needed. This two-page report spans everything you need to know, with sections marked off in boxes to help with readability.
Create Your Own Incident Report
Use Visme’s online document creator to make your own incident report in minutes, working from one of our incident report templates or creating your own. Our live data integration allows you to connect charts to live data such as Google Sheets.
For example, if you want to track the number of incidents at your company or other information that might change regularly, you can have this data automatically updated from an external source. You can also utilize 3D graphics and gestures to improve visual cues for incidents.
And you aren’t limited to just incident reports — Visme can be used to create any kind of worksheet, report or document used in your workplace. Keep your employees and teammates safe by properly filing workplace incident reports whenever needed.