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Writing Incident Reports

Stacey Corbitt

Chapter Overview

Without exception and across the globe, every workplace in your professional career is likely to apply considerable value to safety, health, and security of the business and all of its assets. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is the regulating and enforcement entity whose mission is “to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance” ( https://www.osha.gov/aboutosha , n.d.). The importance of record keeping in the areas of safety and health cannot be overstated; and all employees are responsible for some level of preparing safety documentation. This chapter aims to provide you with tools for success in writing a workplace-specific genre: the incident report .

Think about your own experiences, at work or in another capacity. What training have you completed related to safety, security, or health? Why do you think the organization provided the training? How did you benefit from being trained? How did the organization benefit? Be prepared to discuss your experience in class.

Preparing to write an incident report

Employers often include training on their company safety program as part of new employee orientation: as a result, as you begin or continue your professional career, you will become familiar with your company’s requirements and your responsibilities for documentation of accidents and other reportable incidents. This section provides information about typical company procedures you may encounter.

Before anything happens

Information collection procedures should be provided in the workplace safety and health plan handbook or other document, and may be accompanied by one or more forms designed to capture all initial information about the incident. Always be familiar with the incident reporting procedures required by your employer so you are prepared to address your responsibility in clear, complete, concise, and correct documentation.

After something happens

First, in the event you are involved in or witness an accident or other event that is outside the normal and expected course of business while in the workplace, be prepared to collect and recall detailed information according to a plan specified by your employer. It may be critical to make observations, ask questions, write information down, make sketches, and take photographs as soon as safely possible following any emergency procedures. Familiarity with the employer’s safety protocols ensures you can minimize further risk to individuals and to the company.

Collecting important data

Perhaps your career will provide opportunities for you to conduct in-depth investigations for your employer, and you may prepare lengthy, detailed investigation reports addressing things like root causes and policy changes. Regardless of his or her position within the company, however, each employee has a responsibility to work safely and to report incidents or unsafe conditions. As noted above, many times the latter level of reporting amounts to completing one or more specialized forms similar to the one provided in Figure 1 below. Review the example form and be prepared to discuss it with your peers in class.

how to write incident report pdf

Figure 1. Partial initial incident report information collection form (Sandvick, 2020)

The facts about an incident are collected in the form shown in Figure 1 using reporters’ questions: that is, those questions that elicit what , where , when , who , how , and why information. Additionally, certain incident types require visual media representation of details. Working with a classmate, discuss a parking lot collision or other incident involving at least one driver and vehicle. Besides answering the questions provided in Figure 1, what other kinds of visual information could you collect and provide to help readers understand the incident?

In the event your organization does not have a readily-available data collection form to use, the reporters’ questions may provide sufficient guidance for you to collect incident details. In any case, the two important goals to meet in preparing to write an incident report are as follows:

  • Collect the facts about and observations of the incident as soon as is safely possible, distinguishing between your own observations and those relayed to you by other witnesses; and
  • Create any photographs, diagrams, and other visual data as soon as it is safe to do so.

Organizing and drafting an internal incident report

Your organization’s policies and procedures, together with your position, will determine the next steps you should take in the incident reporting process. As an intern or junior-level professional, your responsibility may end with completion and submission of the reporting form(s). If you have management or executive authority, you are more likely to be tasked with writing a complete narrative incident report. Finally, if you have primary responsibility for health, safety, and/or security within your workplace – perhaps you are a safety coordinator – you may need to collect the initial witness report forms; conduct complete investigations; prepare one or more formal narrative reports; make training or disciplinary decisions; recommend policy changes; and prepare official reports for state and federal authorities.

Understand that the specific requirements of your employer may be unique to your business and to the type of workplace incident being reported. Table 1 below contains questions you must answer in the drafting process: discuss the scope of and reasons for those questions.

Table 1. Considerations for organizing and drafting your report

A word about preparing external incident reports

As noted in the introduction, OSHA may have regulatory authority over your employer. In that event, you may be required to report the details of a workplace accident or other incident according to the specifications of OSHA and in a format they prescribe. As you review Figure 2, notice the information required by the report form. How does it compare to the information provided in a typical internal incident report as represented in the previous section of this chapter? What can you tell about OSHA’s priorities from its reporting form?

Figure 2. Online incident report form required by OSHA for some incidents (2004)

Finalizing internal incident reports

Organizing your effort, taking stock of your progress through the reporting process and reorganizing your information is a constant in incident reporting. At this point, you should be able to check off the following steps:

  • Ensure you have collected all relevant answers to the reporters’ questions from both your own point of view and that of others involved in or witnessing the incident.
  • Confirm you have taken photos and created or obtained drawings as needed to fully and clearly explain the sequence of events and extent of damage.
  • Obtain copies of any other documentation (police reports, for example) or artifacts from the scene of the incident that will accompany your internal report.

Draft your report using the format prescribed by your employer or, if no specifics are given, use a standard business memorandum format. Keep in mind both the intended audience and the potential readers as you write; and remember that your purpose is to objectively report the facts and details of the incident in a clear, concise, complete, correct, and usable document.

Chapter conclusion

Incident reports are a workplace-specific genre of writing that generally appear in report memo format. Like all forms of technical writing, incident reports succeed when they are clear, complete, concise, and correct. This genre is frequently written for one audience who then may disseminate it to a much broader audience. The challenges of incident reporting include careful organizing, integrating graphics, and especially reporting facts and observations objectively and completely without addressing the author’s opinions or judgments. Just (all) the facts, please.

Activity: A case study

Read and discuss the following scenario with your classmates as directed by your instructor.

Safety First

Carolyn has 3 semesters left to complete her bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. Last summer, she was hired as a field sampling technician for a growing environmental engineering firm. Her employer specializes in groundwater remediation.

Carolyn’s training in the first week of her internship included the following topics:

  • Safe operation of company and worksite vehicles, both at the office and in the field
  • Use and care of personal protective equipment
  • Handling, marking, and disposal of samples, equipment, and supplies
  • Completing daily work logs and weekly progress reports

Protocols for reporting accidents and near misses

Carolyn also learned from the junior-level project engineers who trained her that interns and new hires typically are expected to do most of the paperwork.

On Wednesday of the second week of her internship, Carolyn had an opportunity to test her skills at collecting and reporting information about an accident involving damage to company property. Joey, a project engineer who oversaw Carolyn’s training on the sampling process, was driving a company pickup from the office to the field worksite.

  • The truck assigned that day to Joey and Carolyn had been parked front-end first in the fleet yard, which violated the safe operation and parking rules of the company.
  • Joey noticed there were no chocks at the wheels of the truck. Since he didn’t need to remove any chocks, he did not complete a walk-around of the vehicle.
  • Carolyn climbed into the passenger side of the truck and fastened her seat belt.
  • Since the parking spot was positioned against the building, preventing him from pulling through, Joey backed out.

Joey backed the truck out of the parking spot and collided with a cement barrier. The collision broke the taillight cover on the truck’s passenger side and dented the bumper. There was also damage to the paint on the truck’s tailgate.

Answer the questions and be prepared to discuss your answers in class.

  • Consider the audience, which may include safety officers; business owners; direct supervisors; medical personnel; and insurance and legal agents. What needs do all members of this audience have in common?
  • Carolyn is an intern and is just starting her work at the company. She doesn’t want to become known as “a troublemaker” among her peers. What should she include in her witness account of the incident report? What should she avoid in the report? Why?
  • Would you advise Carolyn to include any photographs in her incident report? If so, what should she photograph? If not, why not?

Refer to Figure 3 below as you complete the homework.

Figure 3. Example of an employer’s instructions

Instructions for Employees:  Making an Initial Property Damage Incident Report

Report as soon as possible within 4 hours of the incident via email addressed to [email protected].

  • Subject line of email: “MM/DD/YYYY Property Damage Notification.”
  • Include the following information in the body of the email:
  • Names of employees present, whether involved or possible witnesses
  • Organization unit, office phone and cell phone numbers of employee making report
  • Time, weather, and site address and description of incident location
  • Describe the work being performed and the equipment and/or other property damage
  • Attach pictures of the location and damaged area(s) of equipment.
  • CC the unit supervisor and all other employees present at the time of the incident.

Developmental writing assignment

Work together with a partner to agree on the details of the incident to be reported. You will need to make decisions about any details not provided in the scenario but required by the reporting instructions: for example, you will need to decide on a date and time of day for the incident. What other assumptions do you make?

Why do you think the instructions require a report within 4 hours and submitted via email ?

Technical writing document creation assignment

Write and submit the employer-required incident report email for the accident identified in the Activity section above.

“How to write an incident report” by Clinton M. Sandvick (2020). Provided by: wikiHow. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 .   https://www.wikihow.com/Write-an-Incident-Report .

Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (2004). OSHA forms for recording work-related injuries and illnesses. Retrieved from OSHA.gov website: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/RKforms.html

Mindful Technical Writing Copyright © 2020 by Stacey Corbitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Updated July 19, 2023

An incident report  is used to formally document an event that involves an accident, injury, property damage, or other unusual activity. Commonly used in the workplace, an incident report can help employers reduce liability by addressing problematic employees or processes in an effort to prevent harmful incidents from recurring.

When to Write?

An incident report should be completed as soon as possible after the event to get the most accurate testimony from witnesses.

By Type (18)

how to write incident report pdf


how to write incident report pdf

Cybersecurity (IT)

how to write incident report pdf

Hotel Guest

how to write incident report pdf

Security Guard

how to write incident report pdf

What Should be Included?

An incident report should include the following details:

  • The person affected and their contact information
  • A factual description of the incident, including location, date, and time
  • A description of the incurred injuries if any
  • Any involved parties or witnesses and their contact information

How to File an Incident Report

Procedures for incident reporting can vary from company to company. While some employers may prefer their employees to report incidents to their direct supervisor or to the HR department, others may have an online incident reporting system where employees can submit the form virtually.

If your company’s process for incident reporting was not covered as part of your onboarding process, check your employee handbook or ask your supervisor.


Use this form to report accidents, injuries, medical situations, criminal activities, traffic incidents, or student behavior incidents. If possible, a report should be completed within 24 hours of the event.

Date of Report: [DATE]


Full Name : [NAME] Address : [ADDRESS]

Identification : ☐ Driver’s License No. [#] ☐ Passport No. [#] ☐ Other: [OTHER]



Date of Incident : [DATE] Time : [TIME] ☐ AM ☐ PM

Location : [LOCATION]

Describe the Incident : [DESCRIBE THE INCIDENT]


Was anyone injured ? ☐ Yes ☐ No

If yes, describe the injuries : [DESCRIPTION OF INJURIES]

Were there witnesses to the incident ? ☐ Yes ☐ No

If yes, enter the witnesses’ names and contact info : [NAMES OF WITNESSES]


Police Notified? ☐ Yes ☐ No If yes, was a report filed ? ☐ Yes ☐ No

Was medical treatment provided ? ☐ Yes ☐ No ☐ Refused

If yes, location of the medical treatment :  ☐ On-site ☐ Hospital ☐ Other: [OTHER]


Signature: ________________________ Date: _____________

Print Name: ________________________


Report received by: [ NAME ] Date: [ DATE ]

Follow-up action taken :

Action Taken: [ DESCRIBE ]

how to write incident report pdf

Real Examples of Incident Reports at the Workplace with Templates

how to write incident report pdf

Accidents can happen, no matter how many preventative measures are in place. And, when accidents do happen, it’s vital to learn from them. To ensure your documentation is spotless, it’s always a good idea to look at some example incident reports at the workplace.

A safety incident report helps ensure nobody is subject to mistreatment because it contains information from the injured employee as well as eyewitnesses. This helps fill in missing pieces of information and figure out how the accident occurred exactly. 

“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

So, let’s dive in! 

If you’re looking for an example of an incident report at the workplace, feel free to jump to that section using the links below. Otherwise, we will first discuss what incident reports are and why they are so important.

how to write incident report pdf

What is a Workplace Incident Report? 

A workplace incident report is a document that states all the information about any accidents, injuries, near misses, property damage or health and safety issues that happen in the workplace. 

They are very important to identify the root cause of an incident along with any related hazards and to prevent it happening again in the future. As soon as an incident takes place and everybody in the workplace is safe, a work incident report should be written up. 

Typically, a workplace accident report should be completed within 48 hours of the incident taking place . The layout of an accident incident report should be told like a story, in chronological order, with as many facts as the witnesses can possibly remember. 

What should you include in an incident report?

There are many different types of incident reports, depending on your industry, but most will include the underlying details listed below in order to understand what happened: 

  • The type of incident that took place
  • Where the incident happened
  • The date, day and time of the incident
  • Names of the people involved
  • Injuries that were obtained 
  • Medical treatment that may have been required
  • Equipment that was involved
  • Events leading up to the incident that could have contributed to it taking place
  • Eyewitnesses that can tell their side of the story

For example…If a chemical was involved in the incident, it should be noted if the victim was wearing appropriate PPE or not, as well as a photograph of the damage and the chemical’s label stating its components. If a workplace vehicle was involved, all information about the vehicle should be noted, and the possible reasons why it occurred if there is no clear answer. Employers should ensure vehicle safety guidelines are adhered to in order to prevent incidents in the workplace. 

If this is an OSHA recordable incident (accident) and the company is exempt from OSHA recordkeeping , the employer must also fill in OSHA Form 300 . This form enables both the employer and the agency to keep a log of the injuries or illnesses that happen in the workplace. It includes crucial information such as the number of working days missed due to injury, the sort of injury that was obtained and if medical treatment was necessary. 

how to write incident report pdf

How to Write an Incident Report

It is important to lay out an incident report clearly and concisely with all the relevant information about what happened. The clearer it is to read, the easier it will be to understand the cause of the workplace accident. 

The language used for incident reporting should not be too emotional and should not purposefully put the blame on someone. Here is an incident report example template:

This workplace incident report template includes the basic guidelines and best practices of what to include to make sure the report includes all the details it should. Once a report is written, it should be kept on record in the workplace. 

Incident Report Examples

Depending on the type of workplace incident, the writer will need to include various pieces of information. If you are not sure how to write an incident statement, here are example incident reports for the workplace covering various scenarios. 

Injury Incident Report Example

“At 11.20am on Tuesday 7 th July 2020, a worker, Timothy Johnson, tripped over an electrical wire on the Blue & Green construction site, located on Main Street, Riverside. He was carrying a hammer at the time. 

It is believed the wire should not have been stretched across the ground without safety tape securing it to the ground and drawing attention to it. Timothy fell to the ground and dropped the hammer but did not injure himself with it. He twisted his ankle, which immediately began to swell and scrapped the side of his leg in a minor way. A co-worker came to assist Timothy to his feet and helped him walk to a nearby bench. Timothy could not put his weight on his left foot, so he was taken to a nearby hospital. Once at the hospital, doctors confirmed that Timothy had sprained his ankle and would have to keep the foot elevated and use crutches for the next two weeks. He would not be able to work during this time. 

The foreman for the construction site has assessed the wires on the ground and concluded that brightly colored tape should secure the wires to the ground to draw attention to them and to ensure there are no bumps in the wire that are easy to trip over so that this does not happen again”.

Forklift Accident Report Sample

“On Friday 5 th July 2020, at 3.35pm, a forklift driver, Max White, was driving the forklift he usually drives in the Sunny Side Warehouse, ABC Street, when the front right tire got caught on a piece of wood on the ground, causing the forklift to overturn with Max inside it. 

Luckily a co-worker was nearby to help Max climb out of the right side of the forklift. Max was shaken up and reported that his left shoulder and left side of his neck were hurting him from the impact. Max decided he did not need to go to the hospital as he felt like he would only obtain bruises from his injuries and that they were not severe enough to need medical attention. His manager sent him home for the rest of the day to ensure he did not strain himself further. 

The wood that caused the forklift to overturn had not been stacked properly and has now been moved to a secure location in the warehouse to make sure it does not cause any more issues for forklift drivers”.

Fall Incident Report Sample

“In Fairview Boutique on Friday March 6 th , 2020, Samantha Wright was stacking shelves while standing on a ladder in order to reach the top shelf of handbags at 4.10pm. As she was stretching to place a bag on the shelf, the ladder collapsed from under her and she fell to the ground. Her co-worker heard the loud noise and immediately helped her. Samantha was in a lot of pain and could not get to her feet as she felt lightheaded. An ambulance was phoned, and she was brought to hospital. Samantha obtained a broken right arm, bruised thigh and hip, and a bump to the head that left no major head injury. She was recommended three weeks off work at the minimum by doctors.  The fall was concluded to be of nobody else’s fault but was put down to Samantha accidently overreaching instead of moving the ladder to where she needed to see”. 

Hand Injury Incident Report Sample

“On April 21 st , 2020, at Willow Maintenance, Yellow Abbey Grove, Kyle Jenkins was about to use a miter saw to cut some timber, but when he started to use the saw, it jolted, causing the saw to come down suddenly on his hand. 

Kyle’s left thumb was cut deeply by the saw and he lost a lot of blood. Co-workers came to his aid, turned the saw off and helped him stop the bleeding with tissues. He was then brought to the hospital where he received eight stitches and was told to not use the hand for rigorous work for 4 weeks. The head of Willow Maintenance inspected the saw to check for any issues and see why it came down and cut Kyle’s hand. It appeared that whoever was the last person to use the machine did not put the safety latch back on the saw once they had finished using it. 

If this safety latch was on the saw when Kyle used it, it would not have cut his hand, but rather, automatically shut off once it jolted. The manager decided to take a day to retrain his staff to ensure they adhere to the health and safety guidelines of the company”. 

Exposure Incident Report Sample

“In Woodbell factory, Springville, on Tuesday May 26 th , 2020, Annie Bedley was packaging household cleaning products when a bottle tipped over onto her wrist. 

She got up from her seat to wash off the chemical in the washroom. She then went to her supervisor to show her what had happened. Annie’s wrist was red and itchy but was not burning as she had washed off the remnants of the chemical immediately. Annie’s supervisor brought her to the office to sit with a cold compress on her hand and applied a layer of ointment to treat the burn. Annie did not feel like she would need further medical assistance and agreed with her supervisor that she would need two to three days off work to ensure the burn did not get irritated. 

Annie was wearing appropriate PPE at the time of the incident and no faults were found on the conveyor belt at the packing bay. The incident has been noted as an accident with nobody to blame. Photographic evidence of the burn has been included in this file”.

First Aid Incident Report Sample

“On Friday November 15 h 2019, Arthur Stokes was walking along the corridor between building four and five of Graygrock Inc. when he noticed that there was something sharp sticking through the bottom of his right shoe. 

He stopped to see what it was and found a nail stuck in his shoe. He took his shoe off and lucking was able to pull the nail out as it hadn’t pierced through to his foot and only minorly scraped it. He saw the stairwell was getting new handrails fitted and presumed the nail came from that. He saw two other nails further along the corridor and decided to pick them up to make sure nobody else stood on them. He reported to his manager’s office where he presented the nails and explained the situation. His foot had a small cut, so Arthur’s manager gave him an anti-septic wipe and a band-aid to help him. 

Arthur returned to work while his manager talked to the construction workers about keeping their workspace neat and to prevent any further accidents like this from happening”. 

how to write incident report pdf

Incident Report Form Templates

The layout of an incident report forms can vary depending on where the incident took place and the type of injuries. Here are some examples of incident reports at the workplace that you can use. 

how to write incident report pdf

Incident Report Form for General Staff (Word/PDF)

This general staff accident report form template can be used in a variety of workplaces. It includes all the necessities to describe a workplace incident to ensure it is recorded correctly. This general form is ideal for any business type. 

how to write incident report pdf

Incident Report Form for a Construction Site

This example incident report for the workplace is unique to others as it includes a field for the construction project name and the project manager’s details. This makes it easy to understand where in the construction site the accident occurred and how severe it was.

how to write incident report pdf

Incident Report for a Hospital/ Medical Clinic (Word/PDF)

The hospital incident report template is much more detailed than others as it must include accurate information about the staff member or patient’s injuries, where in the hospital it happened and what medical treatment they required.

As you write your workplace incident reports, remember it is not to place blame on one person, but rather record a series of events that have taken place. Sometimes these are pure accidents due to bad luck and, sometimes, there is human error or a technical fault involved. By the way, this is the basis of the Just Culture Algorithm™ which is definitely worth exploring if you’re looking to improve the safety culture at your workplace .

These examples of incident reports at the workplace are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of workplace accidents that can occur. In any case, it’s crucial to record any incidents that arise because this helps create a safer work environment.

References & Further Reading

  • OSHA’s Guide for Employers carrying out Incident Investigation
  • OSHA’s Injury & Illness prevention Program
  • Workplace Injury Information
  • Eyewitness Statement Form : Should be included for any eyewitnesses to the incident to aid the investigation.
  • Injury Investigation Questions : Should be asked when an employee has been injured at the workplace to understand exactly what happened.
  • Incident Investigation Flowchart Procedure: A step by step example of the procedures involved in carrying out a workplace incident investigation.  

how to write incident report pdf

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How to create an effective incident report

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Learn what incident report templates are, eight steps on how to write an incident report and five software solutions for creating effective incident reports.

IT incident report is documentation of an event that has disrupted the normal operation of some IT system

What is an incident report?

How to write an incident report, top 5 platforms for creating effective incident reports.

An incident report is a form used to record workplace accidents, injuries, illnesses or near misses. It’s very important to submit an incident report when an incident happens, regardless of whether it caused any injuries to employees. That’s because an incident report helps you uncover the circumstances and conditions that led to the event so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Record the basic facts

Start by recording basic facts related to the incident. These include:

  • Type of incident: Illness, injury, theft, near miss or property damage
  • Location of incident
  • Date and time

Note affected individuals

Collect and record details such as names, job titles, departments and any other useful information about those involved or affected by the incident.

Find witnesses

Collect details of any witnesses of the event and record their statements as detailed and accurate as possible.

Create a narrative description of the incident

Document the sequence of events that led to the incident. It’s important to specify the actions of those involved at the time of the incident. This will help you identify which factors were present before the incident and could be a potential contributing factor to the incident occurring.

Some factors to consider:

  • What did the employee do?
  • Who trained the employee or who asked them to complete the task?
  • How was the employee feeling before the incident?
  • For example: Was there a burned-out light bulb? Was a piece of equipment faulty? Was there a blind spot in the area causing the employee poor visibility?
  • Was the employee wearing appropriate personal protective equipment?

Note the injuries

If any injuries were incurred, give a detailed description and include parts of the body injured as well as the nature and severity of the injuries.

Record the treatment

Document the type of treatment administered for the acknowledged injuries so you can follow up with the employee’s progress and recovery when reviewing the specifics of the event.

Indicate damages

Record and account for any damage to equipment and materials that were affected by the incident to determine what items will need to be repaired or replaced.

Establish a corrective action plan

Analyze the facts collected and documented in the incident report and determine a corrective action plan. A corrective action plan provides recommendations for preventing the possibility of both an increase in the severity of the incident and the recurrence of the incident.

Below are five well-known and widely utilized incident report software solutions to help you quickly record any incidents as soon as they occur. These incident templates are designed to capture a comprehensive and precise account of the situation, resulting in swift and informed decisions.

SEE: The COVID-19 gender gap: Why women are leaving their jobs and how to get them back to work (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Jotform is a free platform that lets you create custom online incident reports from your smartphone or tablet. The form is easy to fill out and you can customize it in just a few clicks.

With Jotform, you can gather important digital documents as well as collect files and electronic signatures from clients, coworkers and colleagues. There’s a Form Builder feature that offers a variety of unique form fields designed to get you the data you need. Other features include kiosk mode, geolocation fields and offline data collection.

Smartsheet is a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. The platform offers roll-up reports, dashboards and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.

Smartsheet free templates can be used to report various types of events including accidents, injuries, workplace incidents, property loss or damage, and close calls. The forms allow you to record information and key metrics about all parties involved, details of the incident itself, any law enforcement interaction, witness information and any medical treatment administered.

With Smartsheet you can get real-time visibility and it’s easy to plan, capture, manage and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done.

1st Reporting

1st Reporting is an all-in-one incident reporting software that empowers your field team with the tools they need to generate actionable reports to identify problem areas in their day-to-day operations. The cloud-based solution allows your in-field teams to log reports in real-time online from any device, which in turn helps get their jobs done quicker and safer.

The solution offers an incident reporting dashboard so all your reports are in one place. You can create customized inspection and incident report forms to capture the data you need from your team in the field.

You also get incident notifications and data insights so you can monitor incidents, respond and take action from your smartphone or desktop.

Delinea, previously known as ThycoticCentrify, is an innovative and intuitive platform that offers a customizable cybersecurity incident report template.

Delinea’s incident response plan templates help keep detailed records of breaches in your organization. Keeping these records can enable your incident response teams to reduce the risk of a breach from becoming a catastrophe and maintain your business continuity.

The templates also come with customization instructions for assembling an incident response team, a checklist of roles and responsibilities and details for actionable steps to measure the extent of a cyber security incident.

monday offers simple yet powerful incident templates that let you easily keep track of your incidents.

monday incident templates offer an agile, responsive, flexible way of recording everything from facts about the process of the incident to sorting or filtering your data. This helps provide greater insight into your incidents and you can easily highlight your most common root causes and the severity of your most common

The forms are highly customizable so you can add action items, reorder based on priority and create a tailored plan to fit your needs.

monday also provides a dashboard where you can assign team members to each action item and monitor your plan’s progress at every stage. You can also receive incident reports and you can also create and share a corrective action plan with your team on the dashboard.

A major benefit of using this template is you can export to Excel with just one click, and you can also import your Excel spreadsheet easily. You can also integrate monday with other existing tools such as Jira, GitLab or BugHerd, and they will automatically update your incident report templates.

Incident reports are a critical component of any company’s incident response plan. They serve as a means for creating a Corrective Action Plan to avoid repeat mistakes. Using the above applications will ensure you always have relevant and thorough incident report templates ready and available to capture details of any incident that may arise.

how to write incident report pdf

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How to Write an Incident Report

Last Updated: May 20, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD . Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 19 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,201,684 times.

If you're a security guard or police officer deployed to the scene of an incident, writing up a detailed and accurate report is an important part of doing your job correctly. A good incident report gives a thorough account of what happened without glossing over unsavory information or leaving out important facts. It's crucial to follow the appropriate protocol, describe the incident clearly, and submit a polished report.

Things You Should Know

  • Get the correct forms from your institution. Pay attention to any special instructions since forms may vary slightly.
  • Note the time, date, and location of the incident on the form. Include your full name and ID number, as well.
  • Write a first person narrative explaining what happened at the scene. Be honest, clear, and concise.
  • Proofread your incident report and revise any mistakes before submitting it.

Incident Report Template and Example

how to write incident report pdf

Following Protocol

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 1

  • Follow any instructions that accompany the forms. Each organization uses a different format, so pay attention to the guidelines.
  • In some cases you're responsible for filling out a form issued by your institution. In other cases you'll be asked to type or write up the report on your own.

Tip: If possible, do your write up using word processing software. It will look neater, and you'll be able to use spell check to polish it when you're finished. If you write your report by hand, print clearly instead of using cursive. Don't leave people guessing whether your 7s are actually 1s.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 3

  • The time, date and location of the incident (be specific; write the exact street address, etc.).
  • Your name and ID number.
  • Names of other members of your organization who were present

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 4

  • For example, you could write that you were called to a certain address after a person was reported for being drunk and disorderly.
  • Note that you should not write what you think might have happened. Stick to the facts, and be objective.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 2

Describing What Happened

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 5

  • Use the full names of each person included in the report. Identify all persons the first time they are cited in your report by listing: first, middle, and last names; date of birth, race, gender, and reference a government issued identification number. In subsequent sentences, you can then refer to them using just their first and last names: "Doe, John" or "John Doe". Start a new paragraph to describe each person's actions separately. Answer the who, what, when, where, and why of what happened.
  • For example, when the police officer mentioned above arrives at the residence where he got the call, he could say: "Upon arrival the officer observed a male white, now known as Doe, John Edwin; date of birth: 03/15/1998; California Driver's License 00789142536, screaming and yelling at a female white,know known as, Doe, Jane, in the front lawn of the above location (the address given earlier). The officer separated both parties involved and conducted field interviews. The officer was told by Mr. John Doe that he had came home from work and discovered that dinner was not made for him. He then stated that he became upset at his wife Mrs. Jane Doe for not having the dinner ready for him."
  • If possible, make sure to include direct quotes from witnesses and other people involved in the incident. For example, in the above scenario, the officer could write “Jane said to me ‘Johnny was mad because I didn’t have dinner ready right on time.'”
  • Include an accurate description of your own role in the course of what occurred. If you had to use physical force to detain someone, don't gloss over it. Report how you handled the situation and its aftermath.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 6

  • For example, instead of saying “when I arrived, his face was red,” you could say, “when I arrived, he was yelling, out of breath, and his face was red with anger.” The second example is better than the first because there are multiple reasons for someone’s face to be red, not just that they are angry.
  • Or, instead of saying “after I arrived at the scene, he charged towards me,” you should say “when I arrived at the scene I demanded that both parties stop fighting. After taking a breath and looking at me, he began to run quickly towards me and held his hand up like he was about to strike me.”

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 7

  • For example, if a witness told you he saw someone leap over a fence and run away, clearly indicate that your report of the incident was based upon a witness account; it is not yet a proven fact.
  • Additionally, if you are reporting what the witness told you, you should write down anything that you remember about the witness's demeanor. If their statement's cause controversy later, your report can prove useful. For example, it would be helpful to know that a witness appeared excited while telling you what happened, or if they seemed very calm and evenhanded.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 8

  • Keep your writing clear and concise.
  • Additionally, do not use legal or technical words: For example, say “personal vehicle” instead of “P.O.V.” (personally owned vehicle), and “scene of the crime” instead of the typical numbered code that police typically use to notify others of their arrival.
  • Use short, to-the-point sentences that emphasize facts and that don't leave room for interpretation. Instead of writing "I think the suspect wanted to get back at his wife, because he seemed to have ill intentions when he walked up to her and grabbed her," write "The suspect [insert name] walked over to his wife [name] and forcefully grabbed her by the wrist."

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 9

Polishing the Report

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 10

  • Do not try to make sure that statements in your report match those of your colleagues. Individually filed reports guarantee that more than one account of an incident survives. Incident reports can appear later in a court of law. If you alter the facts of your report to match those of another, you can be penalized.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 11

  • Check it one more time for spelling and grammar errors.
  • Remove any words that could be seen as subjective or judgmental, like words describing feelings and emotions.

Image titled Write an Incident Report Step 12

Expert Q&A

You might also like.

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  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/work-incident-report
  • ↑ https://www.csus.edu/campus-safety/police-department/_internal/_documents/rwm.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.nfic.org/docs/WrittingEffectiveIncidentReports.pdf
  • ↑ https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/ctetechwriting/chapter/accident-and-incident-reports/
  • ↑ https://oer.pressbooks.pub/opentrailstechnicalwriting/chapter/writing-incident-reports/

About This Article

Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD

If you need to write an incident report, start writing down the basic facts you need to remember as soon as possible, so you don’t start to forget details. Include the time, date, and location of the incident, as well as your name and work ID number and the names of anyone else who was present. Start by describing the general nature of the incident, then write out a detailed, first-person account of what happened. Include as many details as you can. Keep reading for tips on editing and polishing your report. Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to write an incident report form

Field Reporting Guide

How to write an incident report form

Simone Timen

No one wants to create an incident report form. But unexpected situations happen all the time, and it’s better to be prepared than caught off guard.

An incident report form records accidents, illnesses, and injuries. It can be used in many scenarios, such as workplace accidents, car accidents, and for police reports. For simplicity, we’ll use the example of a workplace accident.

Here are four steps for building and writing a simple yet effective incident report form:

How to write an incident report

  • Decide how you’ll collect the data.
  • Determine what needs to be reported.
  • Build your incident report.
  • Set up methods to consolidate and analyze the data.

Decide how you’ll collect the data

Traditionally, companies have relied on pen and paper to collect information. This has led to a lot of inaccuracies, lag time in reporting, and disorganization. Using a digital solution can help solve those problems. But using mobile forms has the added benefit of enabling employees to report on the spot from their own device.

Jotform Mobile Forms makes incident reporting simple and seamless. Mobile Forms allows you to collect data, even when you don’t have internet access. So if that incident happened in the parking garage or a stairwell where you can’t get a cell signal, you can still file the report.

Create your own online incident report form in minutes with Jotform.

Determine what needs to be reported

Ask for as much detail as possible using objective questions. Incidents can cause strong emotions, which can lead to bias. A report should stick to the facts. The more specific and unbiased the questions are, the easier it will be to develop corrective actions.

This information includes

  • Name, job title, and department of the affected person
  • Location of the incident
  • Date of the incident
  • Time of the incident
  • Context/conditions surrounding incident (what was the employee doing, was the floor slippery, etc.)
  • Injuries (affected body part(s), nature and extent of injury)
  • Treatment (for injuries)

Build your incident report form

The person filling out the report needs to provide enough detail so that anyone who reads the report can picture the incident exactly the way it happened. That means the incident report form needs to offer an opportunity for the filer to provide this information. One way to do this is by including text boxes for open-ended questions.

First report of inquiry form

With Jotform Mobile Forms, you can take a photo through the app. As mentioned above, being able to document the incident with as much detail as possible — especially with photos — will create a more effective report. While an employee fills out an incident form through Jotform’s mobile app, they can select the Take Photo widget to add a photo to their report.

Other widgets you can include are the Geolocation widget , which can capture the location of the incident so the employee doesn’t have to fill it in, and an e-signature widget , so that the employee can sign the report before submitting it.

Set up methods to consolidate and analyze the data

Now that you have all the necessary data about the incident, how do you make sure it goes to the right people and helps to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future?

With Jotform, you can set up email notifications for form submissions, so that incident reports go to the appropriate person. You can also use integrations to send data to file storage systems (like Google Drive ), project management tools (such as Airtable , Asana , and Trello ), and communication apps like Slack .

When incident data automatically goes to the appropriate parties in a way that’s actionable, your organization can put policies and initiatives in place that reduce the likelihood of future incidents.

Thank you for helping improve the Jotform Blog. 🎉


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How To Write An Incident Report In 11 Steps (Complete Easy 2023 Guide)

Posted 18.01.21 by: Bond Seidel

How To Write An Incident Report

If you’re wondering how to write an incident report, you’ve come to the right place. Writing incident reports is an essential stage of any company’s health and safety program, so correctly writing the report is essential. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the vital steps to writing your incident report efficiently and effectively on the first try.

Writing a valuable and comprehensive incident report is easily accomplished in 11 steps. With some critical points included, writing an incident report will soon be second nature to you (but we hope you don’t have to write too many).

We’ll start by examining the three primary considerations we have to make before writing an incident report. These include choosing the correct category and type of incident report, what relevant information to include in the report, and legal concerns with incident report contents. Then we’ll write the IR (incident Report) step by step. So, keep reading for everything you need to know about writing an incident report.

Table of Contents

Before You Begin: 3 Things To Consider About How To Write An Incident Report

  • Incident Report Definition And Type Selection
  • Relevant Information To Include In Your Incident Report
  • Legal Concerns With Incident Report Contents

Explore the following three sections to determine what you need to consider before we dive into how to write your report. Keep in mind that these three considerations are not to be confused with the three requirements for writing an incident report:

  • The report must be factual and without assumption.
  • An incident report must be accurate and without bias.
  • The incident report must be complete.

If you’re looking for more information about precisely what needs to be included in an incident report , you should read our article specializing in the subject: 12 Things To Include In An Incident Report (With 5 Tips)

Now that we’ve clarified needs versus considerations for our incident report let’s move on to those considerations.

1) Incident Report Definition And Type Selection

With so many industries in our modern society, it stands to reason that there would also be several incident report types. However, depending on the industry, some may have different definitions for what classifies as an incident.

Some of the more common categories of incident reports, with a few examples of each, are as follows.

  • Employee Injury Report
  • Near Miss Report
  • Vehicle Accident Report
  • Chemical Spill Incident Report
  • Asbestos Exposure Incident Report (also classified as a human resources report)

As you may have gleaned from the above categories, your definition of an incident may have a different meaning depending on whether you’re referring to a vehicle, person, property, or something else. However, we can assume that an incident constitutes any situation where injury or damage could occur to a person, thing, or property.

Depending on the incident report type, you may find that you must file some reports with the authorities within a specific time. Take a vehicular accident report in New York, for example. If there is injury (or death) or damage over $1000, all drivers involved must file an accident report within ten days from the incident’s date. ( source )

For more information about definitions of the incident and the differences between an incident and an accident, look at our article Incident Report Vs. Accident Report – Differences For Business.

2) Relevant Information To Include In Your Incident Report

You must include several things in each incident report, no matter the type of incident. However, we can make some general assumptions about what information is required. Here’s a quick run-down of what you need to include:

  • Affected people, property, or business units
  • Description of injuries, damage, or hazard
  • Date, time, and location of the incident or hazard
  • Events leading up to the incident or hazard (if applicable)
  • Local conditions that may have affected the incident
  • Resolutions to the incident or hazard and further recommendations.
  • Witness and report writer information, including contact information

The above inclusions to the incident report are similar to the nine contents of a police report, according to Nolo’s information on the contents of a police report. ( source )

Including the items listed above will ensure that your incident report includes the information needed to be effective. Just remember to pay attention to each section of the unique report type you are completing if there is further information called for on the report that is not listed above, as will be the case in any situation where customized or unique events transpire that require incident reporting.

For a more in-depth look at the Incident Reporting process, read about The Incident Report And The Disclosure Process here.

An example Security Incident Report by 1stReporting.com.

Are you looking for a solution for your incident and inspection reporting?

Let’s move on to the process of completing the report. Using a method and adopting uniform procedures ensures all staff receive equal training and understand their roles and steps required for your health and safety incident reporting practices.

Before you start writing, consider the legalities for a moment.

3) Legal Concerns With Incident Report Contents

There is no shortage of lawsuits resulting from workplace incidents in the United States and other countries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 in the United States, private industry nonfatal injuries in the workplace were reported to be 2.8 million . That’s an awful lot of injuries and an awful lot of potential litigation.

So, how do companies protect themselves? The first step is to ensure that incident reports are filled out honestly and to the best of the reporter’s ability. But there’s more to it, especially if an injury or incident at work lands your company (or you) in court.

According to Immix Law, simply stamping confidential on an incident report won’t protect your company from having to divulge said document in court. The document must qualify as a “work product” under the Work Product Doctrine in many US states. ( source )

The incident report must meet three criteria to qualify as a work product. The incident report has to be:

  • Documents or tangible things
  • Prepared by a party or its representative
  • In anticipation of litigation

As you can see, most incident reports fall short of being classified as documents created in anticipation of litigation. The kicker makes it challenging to keep these documents suppressed should a situation end up in court. After all, these documents are typically a part of everyday business, not prepared in anticipation of legal action.

The bottom line is that you must know what is written in the report. It exemplifies that an intelligent health and safety program includes Near Miss , Safety Leading Indicators , and Dangerous Situation reports at the minimum to aid in incident preventive actions. After all, if you can prevent incidents in the first place, you don’t have to worry about writing too many incident reports in the first place.

Remember to check with your lawyer for all the requirements in your state for reporting incidents, as this article does not constitute legal advice.

Tip: It’s a smart idea to include screening documentation in your incident reporting program to help maintain a safe and healthy work environment in these trying times we live in.

Writing An Incident Report In 11 Steps

Now that you’re prepared and armed with the knowledge of incident report types, data to include, and legalities to keep in mind. So, what is the first step in writing an incident report? The first step to writing an incident report is to determine the appropriate type of report based on the incident type.

Learn more about incident management and streamlining your management here.

1) Obtain The Appropriate Incident Report Type.

Our incident report writing journey begins with the selection of the appropriate document. Your company should have procedures in place for incidents and also have the proper documentation. If you aren’t sure, ask your manager which forms or reports you need for your situation.

You’ll find multiple Incident Report Templates here if you require a downloadable template to get you started.

2) Complete The Administrative Section Of The Report.

The administrative section, located at the top of the report, is shown in this example Near Miss Incident Report.

The administrative section of your incident report will detail your name, location, time, date, and other information required on your incident report. Notice the cutaway of a near-miss report shown above. The first section of the IR is where the administrative report information is.

3) Completely Fill In Any Victim Information (If Applicable).

You must record the victim’s information if the incident report type is an injury. Take a look at the following cutaway from a generic Employee Injury Report. As you can see, the injured team member’s information, in this case, is included below the administrative area of the report.

An incident report part of an Employee Injury Report is shown in this file photo.

4) Completely Fill In Any Witness Information (If Applicable).

Any witness or witnesses present for the incident should have their names and contact information recorded if someone needs to contact them at a later date.

5) Complete Any Section Of The Incident Report About Emergency Services Contacted.

How To Write An Incident Report

A significant, if not essential, part of the incident report includes emergency service information when these services are involved. If someone calls the police, you should report the names, badge numbers, and division numbers of officers attending. If an injury results in emergency health care, the clinic, hospital, or other emergency service location where a person is taken or sent needs recording.

6) Detail The Events That Led Up To The Incident Occurring.

In many cases where an event occurs that deems an incident report warranted, the incident is often preventable. Investigating the root causes (root cause analysis) can reveal how someone could prevent the incident. Using Safety Leading Indicators to aid in this process is recommended.

For the details leading up to the incident, try to explain all the events that led up to the incident in as great detail as possible. Remember that there are a few trivial points, and some details may seem more relevant in hindsight, so ensure to include everything you can.

7) Detail The Environment And Conditions Present At The Time Of The Incident.

Sometimes incidents are no-fault and caused by environmental conditions. Even the first person on the scene might fall on the way to get sand or salt to clear the ice when it’s icy on the ground. When these uncontrollable incidents occur, or any incident for that matter, it is essential to note any environmental conditions that may have contributed to or even caused the incident. It could be poor visibility, icy or slippery ground, or other atmospheric and environmental conditions that may have contributed.

8) Detail The Incident Itself, Noting Who Or What Was Affected.

How To Write An Incident Report

The meat and potatoes of the incident report include the detail of the incident itself. In this section, one must pay close attention to detail and avoid including emotion. It can be easy to incorrectly assess a situation during tense incidents and place blame before finding the truth.

When recording the details of the incident, you should attempt to write in an impartial encyclopedic fashion. Detail notes from the third person, adding descriptiveness to the narrative without including personal thoughts, feelings, or suspicions. An unbiased report does not blame individuals; it merely records the events as truthfully as possible.

If a drawing, pictures, video, or other media is available, it is always prudent to include more details. However, a digital reporting solution like the 1 ST Incident Reporting App can include digital media files to improve your incident reporting.

9) Detail The Actions Taken To Mitigate Hazards And Contain The Situation.

How To Write An Incident Report

A vital component of the incident reporting process includes the steps taken to mitigate a hazard, help an injured person, or other actions to control and aid in preventing further injury or damage from the incident.

Remember the part about the legal ramifications of what we write in the report? If a person is injured and you don’t write down how you provided the aid, you have no record of helping them.

10) Detail Any Recommendations Or Preventive Actions Required.

How To Write An Incident Report

Like the section on immediate actions taken, we must transcribe any recommended further measures to mitigate hazards. These actions are those that cannot be quickly or easily implemented by the person writing the report. It might include fabricating new machine guards or obtaining traffic lights and sensors for a parking garage entrance. There are many possibilities here; the point is to attempt to do what we can to help prevent further incidents from occurring.

11) Finalize The Incident Report And Sign-off On Its Completion.

The incident report should now be complete. Any incident report’s finalization process should include a quick verification that all necessary information is on the IR. Also, the three considerations before writing ought to find their way into your mind while you read over your report.

A Final Thought On Writing Incident Reports

A concise and encompassing health and safety reporting process is a necessity in today’s world of business. Liability mitigation is imperative for business today, with so many possible incidents. And what better way to aid in incident prevention than by using an efficient reporting system?

If your business isn’t using a digital solution for incident reporting, you’re missing out on a much more efficient way of preventing and documenting incidents. Click here to learn more about creating incident reports and incident management in the workplace .

Take the 1 ST Reporting App , for example. We’ve created a system to aid your business in making the reporting process simple for your staff. With features like near-instant custom notifications, easy document retrieval, and simple supplemental media uploading, a digital reporting solution’s effectiveness over a paper-based process is evident.

  • Featured photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels .
  • https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv-records/how-file-motorist-accident-report
  • https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/car-accidents-police-reports.html
  • https://immixlaw.com/preparing-your-incident-reports/
  • https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh.pdf

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8+ How to Write an Incident Report Samples

An incident report is a formal report designed to officially inform anyone concerned about different circumstances that can come up in between certain activities, events, and other unexpected situations. The report format of an incident report is dependent upon how circumstances are reported that could best convey the turn of events. You may also see report samples .

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Purpose of an Incident Report

Structure of an incident report.

  • Incident Time Frame – Incident reports should be written the soonest time possible. At any time being, the time frame of the incident should initially fill your report.
  • Present Parties – As you start your narrative, identify the parties involved and write them accordingly as to how they have been involved throughout any incident.
  • Narration – The written narration will now serve as the main information for your report. A particular order should help readers understand your incident report.

Characteristics of a Well-Written Incident Report

  • Specific – Any incident report should be specific. If facts and other information are too general, confusion might ensue and could possibly lead to a more complicated narration of the incident.
  • Thoroughly Discussed – Facts cannot just be stated with a single sentence or 2. An elaborate construction of sentences and facts makes it easier for readers to internalize certain situations.
  • Grammatically Correct – The possibility of relaying incorrect information is extremely high when an incident report is written with grammatical errors. An accident report could be understood in other terms if ever there are report example discrepancies.
  • Factual – An ideally written incident report is composed of facts and not any other language unfamiliar to most of its readers. Facts get to a clear picture of anything that has or is about to happen.

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How to write an incident report?

incident reporting form

Even with all the safety measures in place, safety incidents can still happen. The big question is: how do you learn from them?

The answer lies in the incident report.

An incident report is a written account of a situation that has occurred. It provides a record of events that led up to an accident, as well as its immediate aftermath.

The primary purpose of writing an incident report is to learn from the mistakes and prevent the recurrence of the same kind of incident in future. This is especially important if there are injuries involved, as it will help workers understand how they can avoid similar accidents in the future. It also helps management understand what went wrong and how they can improve their policies or procedures so that workers are safer in the future.

SMS templates

An incident report is necessary when:

  • There’s a serious injury to any employee or customer (or a visitor).
  • An accident causes major damage to equipment or property.
  • An accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence — even if it’s a near-miss.
  • Any other situation where you feel that an accident could have caused significant harm or concerns regarding the safety of employees, vendors, customers or any other people in the vicinity.

Download free incident report template. Available as Word, Excel or PDF formats.

What should you include in an incident report.

An incident report is necessary to record anything from a minor mishap to a major accident and should include all relevant information such as who was involved, what happened and when it happened.

A basic incident report should contain answers to the following questions:.

What happened?

Make sure you include all the details, such as who was involved and what was damaged, lost or destroyed.

incident classification

When & where did it happen?

Your report should contain the date, time and location where the accident took place. If your company uses a system to track such information, try using that same system for your reports.

Who were involved?

Include other people who were present at the time of the incident or accident and what they did at the time of the incident. This will help determine how exactly the incident happened and any other secondary contributing factors.

What did they do?

Detail out what each of those persons was doing just before, during and after the incident. This is an important detail to help you get down to the bottom of the incident and truly understand the root cause.

Why did it happen?

Your report should explain why the accident occurred so that anyone reading it can understand how it happened and what could have been done differently to prevent it from occurring again.

Were there any witnesses?

You’ll need witness statements from the people nearby and any other involved parties to help explain an event or clarify who was involved.

What is the extent of damage to a person or property?

This would include the severity of the incident as well as any person or equipment damaged in the incident and the follow-up treatment.

SMS templates

Step-by-step process to write an incident report

Collect, Verify & Organize Data

1. Collect the information

The first step is to collect all the relevant information. This includes all the details of the incident, including wh en it occurred, where it took place, what happened and how many people were affected. You should also include any photos or video evidence that could be relevant. You can use checklists or an incident reporting tool like Safetymint to help you collect the necessary data.

Collect, Verify & Organize Data

2. Establish the order of events

Once you have collected all the information about an incident, you need to determine exactly what happened. An effective incident report starts with a summary of what transpired, followed by a description of each event in chronological order. The order of events is crucial because it helps investigators determine whether there is any pattern to the problem and how to fix it.

Collect, Verify & Organize Data

3. Analyze the root cause

After determining the exact sequence in which the incident occurred, you need to analyze the root cause of this problem to identify ways of preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future.

The analysis can also include a review of previous incidents that were similar in nature and frequency leading up to this particular incident. This will help you understand if there is a common cause for all these events or not.

Collect, Verify & Organize Data

4. Formulate corrective action

With the root cause of the event clear, you can then discuss to formulate corrective and preventive action (CAPA) to avoid a similar incident in the future. These corrective actions should be based on past experiences and lessons learned rather than just assumptions or guesses.

You can also involve other team members or stakeholders who may know about preventing such events from reoccurring in the future. All of these information will be helpful for the investigative team to understand what went wrong and suggest recommendations

Reporting incidents using spreadsheets?

Upgrade to Safetymint Incident Reporting System.

Best practices to follow when writing an incident report

A good incident report should include as many details as possible about the event. Here are some tips for writing an effective incident report:

Describe what happened in detail

Include all facts related to the incident, such as who was involved, when and where it took place, how many people were involved and what they were doing at the time of the accident.

For example, if someone fell from scaffolding due to faulty equipment or improper use of equipment, provide as much information about what the person was doing, the equipment they were handling and the safety protocols followed/neglected — so that others can learn from it and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

how to write incident report pdf

Be objective when describing events

Don’t editorialize or speculate about why something happened — simply state what happened and how it affected you or others involved in the accident.

The most important thing about being objective is not allowing emotion to cloud your judgment. Write down what you saw and heard, not what you thought or felt at the time. Avoid making assumptions and using words like “I think” or “I believe” when describing the events.

Be as thorough and accurate as possible, but avoid going into excessive detail about things like how you felt during the incident or what others said afterwards.

Use simple language

Your goal should be for anyone who reads your report to understand exactly what happened without needing any additional context or background information. So avoid using complex phrases or technical terms unless necessary. Otherwise, stick with simple language and avoid using abbreviations or acronyms unless they are widely accepted within your industry.

Include photos, if possible

If the incident caused physical damage, take photos so they can be included with your report. Photos will help show any damages or injuries resulting from the situation and clarify any questions about what happened during the incident.

How Safetymint can help in reporting incidents

Safetymint is an online incident management system developed to help organizations manage safety incidents, observations and near misses . It improves your safety culture by getting more people involved in reporting incidents and it enables you to gather the right data to make better decisions.

Instant reporting

Safetymint offers a simple & quick process for reporting incidents, which helps ensure that all necessary details are captured and recorded correctly. Employees can report hazards themselves through their mobile phones or computers anywhere and at any time.

No prior training

Safetymint has an intuitive interface that’s direct and simple enough that anyone with a smartphone or access to a computer can quickly report the incidents — without any prior training.

how to write incident report pdf

Overall dashboard view

The safety dashboard allows you to track your leading and lagging indicators at one glance to monitor performance and take corrective action wherever necessary. This will help you develop effective solutions for reducing injuries and improving overall workplace health and safety performance.

Custom investigation workflow

Safetymint includes a 5-step incident investigation process which includes the following steps: Incident reporting, Setting up and investigation team, Root cause analysis , Recommended actions and Review and Closure. This process can be used for both internal as well as external investigations.

Capture incidents and near-misses with accuracy.

Resolve incident with a 5-step incident investigation process. Available both on Mobile and Desktop browsers.

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Venngage Incident Report Maker

Complete an incident report in minutes with Venngage's Online Incident Report Maker—no tricky software required

how to write incident report pdf

With our professional incident report maker, you can write a thorough incident report in a manner of minutes. Join over 40,000 businesses in using Venngage as a marketing solution.

Design from one of our incident report templates

Choose from hundreds of incident report templates. see all incident report templates, write a thorough incident report in a manner of minutes..

how to write incident report pdf

Craft an engaging online report effortlessly. Utilize Venngage's drag-and-drop editor to design stunning, actionable incident reports accessible to all, regardless of design skills.

how to write incident report pdf

Effortlessly save time and energy with Venngage's online incident report maker. Enhance your incident report with data visualizations, images, icons, and text instantly.

how to write incident report pdf

Initiate captivating incident report templates that command attention and elevate your information. Whether it's an incident analysis, incident summary, or incident response report, our professional templates streamline your task.

how to write incident report pdf

After finalizing your report, employ the Venngage report maker to distribute it among team members or stakeholders. Print, share online, or download as PNG, PDF, or PowerPoint Presentation formats.

Customize your incident report template in 5 simple steps:

incident report stack

Select a professional incident report template

how to write incident report pdf

Data Visualization

Visualize data effectively. Utilize Venngage's free report maker to seamlessly incorporate data from Google Sheets or CSV, automatically generating charts for impactful visual representation.

Brand Identity

Brand Identity

Personalize your incident report design with Venngage's My Brand Kit feature. Skip the hassle of copying and pasting hex codes by simply entering your website, and our editor takes care of the rest, ensuring consistent branding.

Icons and Photos

Icons and Photos

Elevate your incident report with visuals. Enrich your report's visual appeal by leveraging Venngage's extensive library of over 40,000 icons or 4 million free stock photos.

Drag-and-Drop Editor

Drag-and-Drop Editor

Craft your custom report swiftly using Venngage's intuitive editor. Effortlessly drag and drop design elements and modify the text, font size, and chart data with just a few clicks, saving you valuable time.

how to write incident report pdf

Incident Report Templates

Discover Venngage's collection of report templates specifically crafted for incidents, ensuring effective representation of your company's incident-related information. Our professionally designed templates, expertly created to save you time, guarantee a seamless reporting experience.

Share Your Incident Report

Share Your Incident Report

Share your incident reports securely online through a private link. Alternatively, utilize Venngage's report maker to download your report as a high-definition PDF, PNG, or presentation, granting you versatile options for distribution.

how to write incident report pdf

Remember to take immediate action after the incident

Add photos to your incident report.

how to write incident report pdf

Include your company branding, logo, and color palette

Download your incident report or share it with your team with one click.

how to write incident report pdf

How do I sign up for Venngage?

Join Venngage by signing in with your email, Gmail or Facebook account.

What if I'm not a trained designer?

We a ton of unique and easy to use incident report templates that you can edit in seconds. Additionally, our Blog is filled with helpful design tips, templates, and examples.

How can I download or share my incident report template?

You can download your incident report as a PNG or PDF with a single click in the editor.

Didn't find the right template? Click the link below to see all of our incident report templates!

how to write incident report pdf


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