How To Help When An Incident Happens

Incident reporting is an essential part of a well-functioning, safe work environment. But reports can’t be of much help if your staff doesn’t know what an incident is or how to deal with it. To have an effective incident reporting program, you need to inform yourself and your workers in advance of any company safety policies. This includes processes and actions around incident management and reporting.

Four Types Of Incidents And How To Respond

Here are four types of incidents and how best to respond when they happen. These are broad incident categories that encompass a range of occurrences. When creating incident response policies and structures, focusing on these four incident groups will ensure you prepare for the majority of possible incidents.



There are two kinds of injuries that could occur: lost time and minor injuries. Lost time injuries may lead to the employee having to take time off work permanently or temporarily. Minor ones don’t require time off. 

Your workplace should have systems in place to deal with minor injuries (ie: a safety box or trained medical professional). For more extensive injuries, your company should have medical insurance for workers. You should also have an accessible way to contact or get to the nearest medical facility.


Near Misses

This incident category refers to occasions when nobody gets harmed but it was a close call. The best response to near misses is to get employees to report them. Knowing potential causes for danger can help you improve safety measures and prevent more dangerous incidents from occurring.



These are incidents that involve no injuries or any other form of harm. Calling them an incident may even be remiss because nothing’s actually happened. They’re more of pre-emptive reports of risky factors in the workplace.


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The final and most severe type is when a death occurs. As with extensive injuries, your safety policy should include insurance and measures to contact the necessary authorities.

These can be the most difficult incidents to deal with. Your company must have a plan in place to contact important actors including the authorities, deceased’s family members, and senior company members. 

You should also have systems in place for your PR or media team as fatalities may result in media attention. It can also lead to inquiries and inspections from industry safety boards and regulators.

The best way to handle workplace fatalities is to gather as much information about the incidents, remain sensitive, and prepare to engage with external parties.


Where And How To Report Incidents

A vital part of an incident program is creating clarity around reporting. Your employees need to know who they should contact in the event of an incident. They also have to understand reporting procedures; where and how they should report.

Utilising a mobile incident reporting platform can make it simple for employees to make reports. It promotes accessibility and speedy communication and allows you to share feedback and easily track reports.

Reporting is only the initial response to an incident. After the report, there ought to be feedback, follow-ups, and check-ins with those hurt where necessary. 

The follow-up and feedback processes are an active engagement between management and employees. You need to inform employees about actions taken so far in dealing with the issue and any resolutions.


Final Thoughts

An incident program can drastically improve safety. Educating employees on what incidents are can help with prevention. Teaching them how to respond supports them in handling incidents when they happen. And using reports helps to manage risks, improve safety, and avoid similar incidents in the future.


If your organisation is looking for a 360° incident management tool to involve all employees, service providers and external stakeholders to improve the quality of your operations, have a look at the 30-day free trial of the Falcony Platform:

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We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

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