Incident Reports Help With Risk Mangement

My Dad had eye surgery last week. After the operation, as he was resting, a nurse gave him a cup of coffee – well, she tried to.  She spilled it on him.

After she was sure he was OK and she cleaned up the mess, she went to her work station to complete an incident report.

How do you log unusual events in your company?

While spilled coffee is not a big deal, if my Dad had reacted differently he could have caused a problem in his just-operated on eye. The nurse was right to log the event.

Incident reports can help with several risk management objectives. First, they document the actual event in detail allowing for a reference at some future date if a lawsuit or claim is filed.

Second, reviewing logged events can lead to the uncovering of trends and the development of procedures that prevent future events.

What kinds of events should be logged? Anything that is unusual, that might need to be referred to in the future. Further, log events where an injury did not occur but could have. Accidents where nobody is injured can lead to preventing future events.

In some cases pictures of the scene can be helpful.  In several of my books and other posts I have recommended disposable cameras in vehicles and at all company locations.  They are too cheap not to have available to document events and accidents.