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Reporting Incidents Is Not What You Think

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

There’s More To Reporting Incidents Than Reporting Incidents

reporting incidents

Reporting Incidents: Why Do It?

Reporting incidents is done because something bad happened. What happened isn’t supposed to. This is true even if you expect the events to happen often. Usually, some internal company policy details what needs to be reported and to whom.

There are also regulations that require recording or reporting of accidents and incidents if they meet certain criteria. If you have to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), something big and rough likely occurred. More information for OSHA incident record keeping requirements can be found here.

reporting incidents

Incident Reporting Increases

It’s not a good thing for incidents to occur. However, in the beginning, it’s a great thing to have incident reports increase. The actual number of incidents likely isn’t changing. However, the visibility of such accidents is improved due to reporting incidents that previously may have gone unreported or under reported.

Increased incident reporting helps a company objectively know what’s happening in its processes. This also helps show people from the bottom all the way up to the top on where the company may be struggling. This is a very good thing.

Increases in incident reporting can also be seen if a company expands fairly frequently. The bigger it gets, the more opportunities there will be for some form of incident occurring. I’d say that this is also likely pretty normal, in the beginning. However, as a company matures, it gradually should report less incidents.

For clarity, I am not saying that you should stop reporting incidents that actually happen. I am saying that as you learn more from your previous reports, the company should get better at managing it’s operations. This should be done well enough that you don’t see the same problems occurring in general. If you do, or you see that your issues are worsening, that’s a big problem!

reporting incidents

Reporting Incidents Should Help Reduce Further Incidents!

Reporting incidents is generally a good thing. But, if all you do is just report, you are not fulfilling a primary goal of your company. That aim would be to reduce the amount of bad things happening that shouldn’t happen. In doing so, you naturally and legitimately will reduce the amount of accident reporting that needs to take place. Contrary to popular belief, reporting incidents is not the primary goal of a company. Additionally, safety is not the number one priority of a company. They should be core values and tools used to improve the company.

There can be numerous reasons why you’d want to stop bad things from happening at your company. However, lets focus on the fact that reducing incidents can help greatly with long-term costs. After all, if you want to make more money, a metric for business survival, less incidents typically mean less overall costs. Less costs usually translate to an increased profit margin since it isn’t as expensive to do the same level of business. That means more money.

A helpful method towards reducing incidents is to incorporate incident investigation as part of reporting incidents. The investigation will do things like looking at the facts and getting testimony from witnesses to determine the root cause of the problem. You then develop corrective and preventative actions aimed at solving any immediate problems.

Additionally, such action should take steps that either eliminate the root cause of the problem or minimize the chances that it will happen again. When done right, you’ve got yourself a situation where that particular incident or type of incident should rarely, if ever, darken your doors again. You can then get back to doing what your business should be good at, which is being productive!

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