Incident reporting

It is important to be able to describe an incident after it has happened. As well as being a legal requirement in many situations, accurate records are an important part of identifying any problems which can be avoided in the future.

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Most retailers in Australia follow specific accident, illness and injury reporting and recording procedures after a workplace incident or accident. All team members will need to know how to correctly report and record what happened if they are involved in, or are witness to a workplace incident or accident.

The need for incident report forms

The information in incident reports will highlight the area, occupation, injury or illness, incident type and time of the incident. This information can help to:

  • Identify hazards, assess risks and initiate possible suitable risk control measures.
  • Identify unsafe work practices or situations
  • Identify training needs
  • Suggest new or changed procedures

Incident reports should give the organisation a broad indication of the effectiveness of their health and safety system.

Here is an example of an incident report form:


Roles and responsibilities in reporting incidents

The individual completing the incident report, needs to take care to ensure that the report:

  • States who was involved (names, position in store).
  • Describes in detail what happened (what/where/when/who).
  • Lists the actions taken, and by whom.
  • Describes any damage or injury in everyday terms.

The report should be clear and easy to read. The report should only document the actual facts, it should not be opinion or judgement based. The form should not contain any ‘best guesses’ for example: suggesting what the cause might be, or who may be to blame.

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