Why is reporting important?
Health and safety reporting makes a big difference in safety, efficiency and overall wellbeing. In order for reporting to be effective, workers need to understand why they are required to do so in the first place.
- Raises awareness – Reports that describe actual events or near misses are an effective way to improve health and safety quality in the workplace. When someone reports an incident, it raises awareness on the threats and hazards that may have gone unnoticed or unresolved. Examples of threats or hazards include, faulty plant or equipment, unacceptable behaviour such as harassment, or lack of training. It’s important managers are made aware of health and safety issues or concerns so that corrective and preventative actions can be taken promptly.
- Helps identify trends – It is quite often minor incidents are signs of a much larger issue in the workplace. Thus, reports can provide health and safety trends which can be used to identify the underlying causes of incidents and help prevent future incidents from occurring. Some reports can provide valuable, real-life data on health and safety issues, highlighting areas where the organisation is lacking. Management can use the data to assess whether corrective actions are effective, if further training is required or if new procedures need to be implemented. The overall health and safety system can be improved through reporting.
- Creates urgency – When incident forms are submitted, it prompts organisations to take immediate action to try and resolve the issue as smoothly as possible. In saying this, it’s crucial for workers to file a report as soon as the incident occurs, no matter the severity. This will allow managers to begin an investigation and implement corrective actions.
What should staff report?
Staff should report all health and safety activity that has the risk of causing harm to workers or the organisation, this includes:
- Incidents, accidents or events
- Hazards, e.g. noise, chemicals or working alone
- Stress or discomfort
- Bullying and unacceptable behaviour
- Maintenance Requests
It is important for staff take the time to fill out a report. Reports should be completed as soon as possible after the incident or when the risk has been identified, while information is still clear in their mind.
Have you clearly communicated the importance of reporting to your staff? Do you have the right processes in place to help staff report? If you’ve answered no, then contact Working Wise now. We’ve got you covered with our GOSH system where staff can easily submit reports from their computer, tablet or mobile phone. Give us a call on 04 499 0710 or email us for more information.