The Secret Behind Incident Reporting: Communications

No one likes to be taken by surprise when it comes to safety matters. Not the management, nor the shop floor. Everybody works best when they receive clear communication and have all the information needed to complete tasks efficiently.

The reality is, however, that there are many reasons why communication can go wrong. People miss things, forget them or forget important details more often than is thought. In other cases, initiatives can get stuck just because key people have other competing assignments.

These are general challenges in communication that also apply to incident reporting. This article will expand on why good incident report communication matters and how you can improve it in your organisation.

Why Good Communications is Essential in Incident Reporting

Incident reporting management and communication can affect the functionality of your entire business. When there is too much time between the occurrence of an incident and its resolution, your customers and employees can lose trust in you.

Good communication facilitates the swift addressing of incidents. If employees file reports and share incident information timeously, and management responds and engages reports quickly, you can find solutions without delay. This can have a direct impact on employee morale and worker sentiment as they feel you take their safety seriously. This will boost incident reporting.

Another benefit of improving communication for incident reports is that it can enhance the clarity of information. When you have systems that encourage better back-and-forth between reporters and report managers, you can gather detailed data. Where information has gaps, your established communication channels allow people to fill it in.

Other advantages of communicating clearly with employees around incidents include:

  • Protecting your reputation as a safe and pleasant workplace
  • Guaranteeing the spread of correct information about reporting and reports
  • Reducing disdain and dissatisfaction among workers
  • Keeping disruption and work delays at a minimum


5 Tips For Enhancing Incident Reporting Through Communication

These are some of the ways that you can improve how you communicate about incidents and reports in your company.


1. Educate Your Team

Your employees won’t feel obliged to report incidents or communicate safety issues if they don’t understand the value. You need to make it clear to your workers why incident reports are important for your business’ productivity and safety.

Educate your team about the benefits of incident reporting, the types of safety incidents, and how they should respond to incidents. When they know these and other details on incident reporting, the information they share will also be more usable for resolving issues.


2. Develop A Strong Workplace Culture Of Safety

Education is a key part of growing a safety and incident-focused workplace culture. You can’t hope to get your workers invested in submitting reports if you only mention reporting on a rare occasion or after an incident occurs.

Your workplace culture should encourage your employees to make regular safety observations and keep safety and reporting top of mind. 

You need to make it a part of your workplace day-to-day. Speak openly about it and make sure there are blockages to workers speaking to management about issues. Have posters and other reminders around the workplace to prompt employees to talk about safety challenges. You want to ensure that workers always remember to report and always feel like they can.


3. Set Up Communication Systems & Procedures

Another aspect of establishing incident reporting communication as a part of your company’s working experience is policy-making. You have to set up systems and procedures that guide everybody on how to communicate and what to do in the event of an incident.

Structuring your reporting system is a sure way to keep your whole team on the same page and make communication easier. 

It’s paramount to synchronise each report with its responsible people and ensure everyone is on top of what is expected of them. Set interim milestones with clear deliverables and deadlines so that there is slack time for corrective action if someone has fallen behind.

Having steps like this in place ensures that everybody knows who is accountable for what. Employees know who to talk to about what issue and who workers can ask when they need more information about their report. With a structure and responsibilities in place, you know who to speak to when communication delays occur. This increases the efficiency and success of your reporting system.


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4. Find Supportive Tools

To support the policies and ideological systems you decide on, you will need practical tools to facilitate communication. Use an incident reporting platform that allows workers to file reports, store them, and enable you to track their progress.

A cloud-based reporting platform will also make information access easier. When your reports management team can access data at any time, it makes it easier for them to address issues efficiently.

Your chosen tools should include various methods of communicating like SMS or texts, email, calls, etc.


5. Prioritise Feedback & Post-Incident Communication

The reporting process doesn’t end once the report has been filed. You have to keep track of incidents and communicate with reporters consistently. Keep them informed about the report's progress, what you hope to do with the information and more. Be transparent and outline each step that you take in the incident resolution progress.

Communicating clearly and regularly reduces disruptions and worker dissatisfaction.

Another form of communication that you should prioritise is feedback. Gather feedback from your workers about your systems, policies, and other details around your handling of reports. This feedback can help highlight where your incident report management has flaws and where it flourishes. Worker perspectives can give you insight into how you can make your system the best it can be.


Final thoughts

Incident reporting is an excellent tool that organisations can use to enhance workplace safety, improve relations with employees, and more. Handling reports efficiently and successfully reassure your team that you care about their well-being. It can also have longer-term effects on employee morale, satisfaction and productivity. In turn, it can also boost your organisation’s reputation and your bottom line.

To improve incident reporting, it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate. Design a system with tools, systems, and a culture that drives communication.


If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to monitor your organisation's incident management practices, we've got you covered. Falcony is easy-to-use, boosts two-way communication, has customisable workflows, automated analytics, vast integration possibilities and more. Start your 30-day trial or contact us for more information:

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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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