Accident reporting in the workplace has evolved a lot over recent years, especially with the advances in digital software and real-time incident reporting.
It used to be that most businesses operated a very simple accident reporting system – usually paper-based – and involved a designated member of staff acting as a company safety officer. When an accident occurred, the designated safety officer would be called to the scene of the accident and the appropriate action would take place to treat an injured member of staff (if an injury had occurred) or whatever hazard is present would be removed. This could have been something like a chemical spill, or a forklift truck collision etc.
Usually a detailed accident report would be entered into an accident book or incident log. While this was a fine method to adequately record incidents or accidents that occurred, it did very little to improve the workplace safety or alter any working practices to reduce further risk unless the safety officer took the time and trouble to do so.
In most cases, a ‘responsible person’ was appointed by many businesses to be in charge of Health and Safety issues, but this person was more often than not an existing member of staff with a full-time job to do, so the health and safety aspect of their role was a minor one that wasn’t prioritised.
This lead to many businesses having a culture where accidents were reported, but very little action was then taken to reduce or eliminate the risk. This is not best practice, and could lead a company to be sued in the future should the accident happen again.
Reporting and reducing accident risks
By using accident reporting software, and having it accessible to everyone, vigilant staff working on the shop floor can quickly report any workplace risks they come across during their routine day to day operations. Helping OHS staff to run risk assessments and put measures in place to address new risks picked up by other staff can be a great help, especially when new tools or machinery is being introduced into the workplace.
With a good accident reporting system in place, should an accident occur in the workplace, fellow employees can immediately alert key members of staff in real-time. This quick action can be a life-saver, especially where there has been a serious accident that could be life-threatening to the victim.
By being able to report incidents immediately, measures can be taken to resolve the incident quicker, plus measures can be put into place and actioned before the report is closed. Everyone can be kept in the loop and made aware of issues as they occur, meaning that other staff members can take steps to keep themselves safe and away from the danger area if necessary. This can help prevent further accidents or injuries taking place should there be a chemical spill or something else that poses a hazard to health.
You can see why having a high-quality accident reporting management software system in place is so important in the workplace.