Reporting incidents and hazards – the fundamentals

Reporting might not be the most exciting of topics. But reporting incidents and hazards is important – it helps identify health, safety, and wellbeing trends and prevents future incidents. 

The safety of your workforce is a priority and to ensure that health and safety standards are maintained, it is important to create simple yet effective systems and processes for reporting incidents and hazards promptly.

Unfortunately, reporting is often considered an administrative burden that’s too difficult or time consuming. However, it does not have to be so, helping everyone involved understand the importance of reporting can go a long way.

Some tips to encourage prompt reporting are:

  • All employees must be trained in hazard recognition and avoidance.
  • Together with your staff, look for risks caused by your work such as unsafe machinery, causes of stress, poor air quality and fatigue.
  • Consider how much harm these risks pose and the likelihood of them happening.

In our workplace reviews, we find one of the biggest challenges is letting go of out-dated processes that are embedded in an organisation. At Working Wise, we start with people and with culture when undertaking workplace reviews. 

Simple tools and Confidentiality

Part of this includes building a strong culture, where workers are willing to report openly and honestly. Providing teams with access to easy reporting tools and uncomplicated forms are one part of actively engaging workers in health and safety reporting. People are also more inclined to submit reports knowing they are strictly confidential. 

Tips for clarity in the process:

  • Create a simple process – whom to report and what happens after an incident or hazard has been reported.
  • As the process evolves more steps can be added to enable reporting, corrective measures taken and all the steps documented for future reference.
  • Keep an Incident/Hazard Register that is easily available and includes:
    • near misses
    • occupational illnesses (or signs of such illnesses). 
    • incidents or hazards identified
  • Alongside these events, it should also outline, who was involved or affected, what happened and where and when it happened

Communication and Learning from incidents

Letting everyone know about the preventive measures taken and identifying the hazards can go a long way ensuring health and safety in the future. Learning from an incident might be as simple as chatting to staff afterwards so you can all try to figure out what went wrong — and what can be done about it.

Closing the loop matters too. Communicate and inform staff about what happens after a report has been made, what the follow-up actions are, who is involved and what is expected of the notifying person. When people see that a report is actually addressed, the willingness to report increases.

Keeping everyone healthy and safe at work does not have to mean too much of an administrative burden or lots of paperwork. It means taking a proactive approach and getting everyone involved. Assessing the risks not only to your staff but also those who might be affected such as visitors, customers, contractors and neighbouring businesses will ensure a healthy and safe environment.

There is a simple and flexible cloud-based system called GOSH for reporting incidents and hazards by staff and Managers using the intranet or mobile phones.

To learn more about the GOSH online health and safety system you can book a demo. Contact us by email here.

Up next

We have worked with
How can we help?

Send Us An Email

Contact Us

Make a booking with us