Incident reporting is essential for helping any business understand what is going wrong or could go wrong regarding workplace safety. With these insights, an organisation can fix a health and safety or security issue before it becomes a bigger problem that can cause serious harm or damage to employees or property.
According to Falcony, “effective incident reporting systems optimise improvement. The biggest goal of incident reporting is to deal with issues by implementing changes, improving awareness of a problem, and building a database of information. These require active and speedy engagement from all parties – including witnesses, management, insurers, victims, or those affected.”
Workplace safety is not something to be ignored, the Health and Safety Executive estimates that each year, over a million workers are injured or made ill by their work in Great Britain. With a fatal employee accident costing a business just shy of £100k and non-fatal injuries costing a business £1,400 on average, per employee, the costs can easily mount up. In fact, the total cost of workplace injuries cost US businesses $163.9 billion in 2020. Businesses need to implement proper incident reporting as a crucial preventative measure to reduce workplace risks and accidents and the associated costs.
Navigating incident reporting can be challenging for businesses in all sectors; who should be notified, what information do they need, how should it be followed up and ultimately how and when it should be resolved. Not obtaining the correct information from the start can make the whole process extremely inefficient. Streamlining the reporting process into one easily accessible system can help save dozens of wasted hours spent trying to obtain all the required information and ensure issues are resolved swiftly.
At The Bot Platform, we’ve found that efficient incident reporting is reliant on two clear factors:
1) Clear Communication of Policy
For a reporting process to be effective, workers need to know how and when to access it in the occurrence of an incident. This empowers employees to proactively report incidents and helps organisations create a culture of engagement and further promotion of all things health and safety. The benefits of creating a positive culture around reporting are plentiful, including, of course, the reduction of actual incidents. Having well-trained employees who are knowledgeable on the risks in their workplace also decreases the chance of productivity being stalled should an incident occur, as they’ll know how to handle various situations.
Transparency nurtures a culture where people are happy to come forward. So businesses should ensure that there is open and accessible communication around incidents, so that staff know when an incident happens, what is being done about it and what the results are. All workers – whether on the factory floor or senior management, should be encouraged to report incidents across the spaces they’re working in, so all areas of the workplace are covered. This helps cultivate a collective understanding of the diverse risks that can appear across different areas of the business.
Communication channels should be working and active from the initial report to the end of the case, as sharing the results of incidents and the lessons learned from them, businesses can improve workplace safety and prevent future incidents from occurring.
2) Digital Reporting Systems
Having a robust incident reporting system and communication platform are vital pieces of the puzzle when it comes to maintaining health and safety in the workplace. They not only ensure more regular reporting of incidents, but also assure employees that you’re doing everything you can to keep them out of harm’s way; promoting an all-round happier and more productive workplace. Having an accessible, digital incident management platform for reporting can make a significant difference to the whole process.
Evotix recommends using a solution that also includes mobile accessibility to enable employees to report on any device, anytime, anywhere to allow for immediate incident reporting, engagement and success.
At The Bot Platform we have a pre-built incident reporting template, the ‘Incident Reporter’, which allows organisations to create customizable forms that fit their specific processes.
Available to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and whether your staff are reporting an incident from their desk, or on the go using their mobile device. The system guides staff down a pre-set list of questions that need to be asked to best establish the cause of an incident, understand its severity, capture details of what happened and any evidence.
It also automatically alerts key personnel and saves incident details for logging and compliance purposes. The benefit is a centralised, digital record that allows employers to track the actions and completion of incidents.
By keeping a standardised and accessible database of reports, it enables businesses to easily spot trends and prevent recurrences of incidents.
The benefits of efficient incident reporting are far reaching. Not only can a streamlined process save your business time, money and resources, but demonstrating to employees that their health and safety is a priority goes a long way to increasing worker morale and wellbeing.
The Bot Platform’s customer, Clarins has a distributed UK workforce of over 2,000 people and to build a better connection between front line workers and head office staff, the company built a shop floor incident reporter to alert management to incidents quickly, so they can be handled and resolved as efficiently as possible. This improved connection between shop-floor staff and office personnel has helped the business to identify and resolve common risk factors.
Incident reporting isn’t limited to simply physical accidents either, and can encompass a whole range of issues that might be affecting your workforce. Digital feedback and reporting tools are especially important as an outlet to disclose delicate information, such as issues around harassment or bullying in the workplace, as well as health and safety incidents or concerns. The solutions at The Bot Platform allow employers to anonymise some reporting, which makes employees feel more protected and provides a safe space to make employers aware of things that otherwise would not have been raised due to fear of repercussions.
AllVoices discovered that 74% of employees would be more inclined to give feedback about their company if the feedback channel was made truly anonymous. This means many employers may be missing out on key information about their workplace due to the lack of appropriate communication channels for workers to use. If you want to feel truly confident that you know everything that is happening in your workplace, an anonymous feedback tool could be the way forward to ensure that all voices are heard.
Using The Bot Platform, you can create custom incident reporting systems using our easy-to-use templates and build feedback tools for your business, which can be anonymised. Using bots and digital assistants it’s easy to create reporting mechanisms that create a culture where employees are far more likely to report or seek guidance around potential or actual wrongdoing and share their opinions and ideas.
To find out more about creating your own company-specific incident reporter, or to arrange a free trial, get in touch with our team!