It was a very cold morning as it had been raining very heavily the previous night. As my mother was feeling a little under the weather, my sister volunteered to drive me to school. I had overslept and as a result, was running a bit late for school. We got into the car hurriedly. The road was already congested with traffic. It appeared that everyone was late as well.
My sister was a careful driver and despite the fact I was already late, she refused to drive fast on the slippery road. I was lucky she was such a resolute and careful person because a few hundred meters away from the school, we witnessed a tragic accident. it all happened very quickly, as most accidents do. A car full of school children had made a left turning without signaling and as a result a school bus crashed into it. A few cars behind the school bus rammed into the bus as they could not brake in time and soon it became a pile up. The already congested road became jammed with vehicles that came to a crawl. I told my sister that I wanted to help the victims and she nodded silently. She brought the car to a halt not too far from the accident spot.
The scene that greeted us was something I would never forget. It left an indelible imprint in my mind to date. The impact of the accident had plunged three school children out of the car. The driver, a lady, lay lifeless on the steering wheel. I rushed to the children who were preschoolers. Two of them were seriously hurt and bleeding profusely from the head and hands. they were conscious although too weak to realize what had happened. One of them had her left hand severed and appeared unconscious. I think she was killed on the spot. In the meantime passers-by had called the ambulance and while waiting we tried as best as possible to help the victims.
The passengers in the school bus too were injured. I dashed into the bus and saw the driver laid slumped on the wheels. He had severe injuries on the head. While my sister helped him down from the bus, I told the injured school children to stay calm. Most of them appeared to suffer from minor cuts and bruises on their arms and bodies. it was really fortunate that nobody was badly hurt. By then a few adults had entered the bus and together we instructed the children to come out of the bus slowly. The children were crying and screaming for their parents and we had to hug them to keep them quiet.
Meanwhile, two ambulances had arrived. A traffic police car was there too. Two policemen were taking down statements from eye-witnesses. The injured and the dead were whisked away to the hospital. My sister and I later gave an account to the police of what had happened.
I was late for school. In fact, many drives were also late for their work. I informed my teacher of the accident and both felt that it could have been prevented if the drivers had been more careful. Innocent lives would not have been lost otherwise.
An incident report needs to include all the essential information about the accident or near-miss. The report-writing process begins with fact-finding and ends with recommendations for preventing future accidents.
You may use a special incident reporting form, and it might be quite extensive. But writing any incident report involves four basic steps, and those are the focus of today’s post.
1. Find the Facts
To prepare for writing an accident report, you have to gather and record all the facts. For example:
· Date, time, and specific location of incident
· Names, job titles, and department of employees involved and immediate supervisor(s)
· Names and accounts of witnesses
· Events leading up to incident
· Exactly what employee was doing at the moment of the accident
· Environmental conditions (e.g. slippery floor, inadequate lighting, noise, etc.)
· Circumstances (including tasks, equipment, tools, materials, PPE, etc.)
· Specific injuries (including part(s) of body injured and nature and extent of injuries)
· Type of treatment for injuries
· Damage to equipment, materials, etc.
2. Determine the Sequence
Based on the facts, you should be able to determine the sequence of events. In your report, describe this sequence in detail, including:
· Events leading up to the incident.Was the employee walking, running, bending over, squatting, climbing, lifting operating machinery, pushing a broom, turning a valve, using a tool, handling hazardous materials, etc.?
· Events involved in the incident.Was the employee struck by an object or caught in/on/between objects? Did the worker fall on the same level or from a height? Did the employee inhale hazardous vapors or get splashed with a hazardous chemical?
· Events immediately following the incident. What did the employee do: Grab a knee? Start limping? Hold his/her arm? Complain about back pain? Put a hand over a bleeding wound? Also, describe how other co-workers responded. Did they call for help, administer first aid, shut down equipment, move the victim, etc.?
The incident should be described in the report in sufficient detail that any reader can clearly picture what happened. You might consider creating a diagram to show, in a simple and visually effective manner, the sequence of events related to the incident and include this in your incident report. You might also wish to include photos of the accident scene, which may help readers follow the sequence of events.
Your report should include an in-depth analysis of the causes of the accident. Causes include:
· Primary cause (e.g., a spill on the floor that caused a slip and fall)
· Secondary causes (e.g., employee not wearing appropriate work shoes or carrying a stack of material that blocked vision)
· Other contributing factors (e.g., burned out light bulb in the area).
Recommendations for corrective action might include immediate corrective action as well as long-term corrective actions such as:
· Employee training on safe work practices
· Preventive maintenance activities that keep equipment in good operating condition
· Evaluation of job procedures with a recommendation for changes
· Conducting a job hazard analysis to evaluate the task for any other hazards and then train employees on these hazards
· Engineering changes that make the task safer or administrative changes that might include changing the way the task is performed
Bolingbrook, Illinois 60490
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Published by Jack Benton
Suburban Chicago Environmental, Health, Safety Specialist & Loss Control & Risk professional. I am "Passionate About Safety" - Full-Time Job Leads Always Welcomed! ~ Contact me through LinkedIn View all posts by Jack Benton