Incidents and observations come in many types, such as safety incidents and accidents, near misses, environmental observations, IT security incidents, quality deviations and claims, to name a few.
Most of us recognize when we see something out of condition. And the most thoughtful of us even do the work to fix it, which we call corrective actions. But there is an integral part that should always be carried out besides identifying an issue and fixing it. That part is incident reporting.
In this blog post, we will go through seven reasons why incident reporting is indispensable for organisations of all sizes in any industry.
1. Reporting minor incidents and observations prevent serious incidents from happening
Most incident report forms identify the barriers that prevent adverse situations from developing into major accidents or disasters. On a large scale, this might mean the avoidance of an environmental disaster such as The Talvivaara case or in the most severe cases the line between the life and death of an employee. On a smaller scale, we talk about observations that mitigate issues such as occupational diseases or discomforts, or simply just waste.
Whether big or small, the insights are all very important. They help safety, security, environmental, quality and facility managers recognize trends and identify where additional resources are required in order to guarantee that no major incidents happen.
2. Minor incidents and observations mean more data to analyse
And it’s not just the amount of data but also the frequency of new observations that enable both quantitative and qualitative analysis. In many cases, accidents begin and develop from atypical occasions. Thus they themselves provide relatively little information about the possibility of future incidents.
In contrast, the more and the higher frequency of incidents, the more significant insights they give into human error, systemic failures, site comparisons, regulatory weaknesses etc.
3. Incidents and observations keep us aware
They provide a reminder of possible hazards. Reporting them provides a way to monitor potential problems and root causes as they recur.
The documentation of these problems and root causes increases the likelihood that repeating failures will be noticed and corrected before they develop into more serious incidents.
4. Feedback loop keeps observers aboard
Incident reporting provides a way to involve all employees in safety, quality, environmental topics or security. Everyone can see that their concerns are treated seriously and are acted upon by the organisation.
In the end, a culture of improvement can be created with only two-way communication and everyone being part of it.
5. Share lessons learned and benchmark between industries
Incident reporting provides data that can be used to share best practices within an organisation and benchmark the level to industry standards.
Even though the incident categories and types differ between industries, verticals and even functions, the winning habits of being aware in the field and documenting the observations are all the same.
6. Investing in reporting is cheaper than the costs of a major incident
The average cost of an occupational accident ranges from thousands to tens of thousands of euros. Thus it is easy to evaluate the cost of inaction.
Even in a global organisation that has tens of thousands of employees, hundreds of service providers and dozens of other important stakeholders, the cost of maintaining a modern incident reporting platform is many times cheaper than the costs of accidents or major incidents.
7. Incident reporting is a key habit that creates a culture
Organisational culture is a set of habits, values, thoughts and beliefs. In organisation-wide development areas such as HSEQ, habits are the keystones that affect the culture the most.
Simply put, if you want to improve safety culture, make sure to start collecting safety observations. If you want to improve quality culture, start collecting quality deviations. And if you want to raise environmental awareness, start collecting environmental observations.
As we can see, there are multiple different points contributing to the importance of incident reporting. If we were able to convince you why it is important to report incidents, you might now be asking yourself how to do it in the most effective way.
We at Falcony have developed a platform that is designed to involve all employees to report their findings on a daily basis. There are a lot of features, but you aren't here for a spec sheet.
That is why we are offering a 30-day trial so you can take your time testing it out for FREE. If you are interested, click the button below and fill in the required information to get started:
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.
More information at falcony.io.