Incident reporting increases when workers don’t fear losing their jobs. That’s one of six ways to encourage incident reporting, and improve safety.
In this podcast, Dan Clark goes into detail about employee fears of reporting accidents and near misses. Trust of the company is a key component in logging accurate incident information from workers.
Dan also explains that it should be easy for staff to make a report. It can be written or entered electronically with incident reporting software and apps. Allowing workers to report anonymously will improve reporting too. Managers’ fast reactions to reports will show employees they are serious about safety.
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Dan Clark: When minor injuries or near misses happen, workers sometimes duck and cover. They avoid reporting, because they’re scared of punishment. I have six ways to calm their fears.
Hi there. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, tackling health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.
Incident reports are extremely important. With them, you can identify problems and improve safety overall. If you know about the small events, you may be able to prevent catastrophes. Here are 6 Ways to Encourage Incident Reporting.
#1. Don’t punish employees who report incidents. If employees know they’ll be blamed, they’ll be less likely to report what happened. Make it clear that employees won’t risk losing their jobs if they report incidents.
#2. Make reporting easy. Whether reports are filed on paper or electronically, make sure they’re easily accessible and quick to fill out. Otherwise, workers may worry about wasting time away from their work to fill out forms.
#3. Let employees report anonymously. While anonymous reporting doesn’t allow you to follow up with those involved to learn more, it does often make people more comfortable reporting an incident.
#4. Discuss incidents with an open mind. Don’t assume that you know what happened. Allow everyone involved to talk about what happened without blaming them.
#5 Avoid drug testing. This may sound strange, but many workplaces require anyone involved in an incident to take a drug test. This can make employees nervous, even if they don’t use illegal substances. They might worry that their prescriptions could impact the results.
#6. Quickly address problems. Determine what factors contributed to the incident and make adjustments, if necessary. When employees see management is quick to resolve issues, they’ll see the importance of reporting incidents when they occur.
And, as a side note for managers, don’t forget OSHA has ratcheted up reporting requirements for 2015. Now, you have to report all work-related:
• In-patient hospitalizations
• Losses of an eye
That’s all for this episode on 6 Ways to Encourage Incident Reporting. Come back for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, a service of Creative Safety Supply. Save 10% off of your entire order at creativesafetysupply.com with coupon code SAFETYBRIEF.
OSHA reporting flow chart