Why Safety and Incident Reporting is Important

OSHA reporting and incident tracking is a vital part of health and safety management. An inaccurate or missed OSHA report can have serious repercussions on a company. Financial penalties for unsent incident reports can be steep, not to mention the loss of the company’s reputation as a safe work environment. Compliance management software makes incident tracking easier and more accurate–for documentation ranging from OSHA reports to near-miss incidents.

When is an OSHA Report Necessary?

In addition to scheduled safety compliance reports, OSHA incident reporting is required whenever any of the following conditions are met:

  • An employee is killed on the job,
  • An employees requires hospitalization for work-related injury or illness,
  • An injury results in amputation,
  • An injury results in the loss of an eye.

In the case of a death, OSHA incident reporting must be completed within eight hours of the event. For injuries, the time limit is extended to 24 hours. 

A serious safety event is upsetting to employees and employers alike. In the aftermath, it can be difficult to piece together exactly what happened--human memory is more malleable than we like to think. Real-time incident management software allows employees to record details of events immediately after they happen, so you can submit an accurate report to OSHA and determine if OSHA and corporate safety policies were upheld leading up to the incident. 

The Importance of Tracking Near Misses

Near misses happen all the time in workplaces across. A staff member stumbling over loose carpet and almost hitting his head on a desk corner is a near miss. The warehouse worker who rounded a corner to almost collide with a loaded forklift is also a near miss. In both cases, the incident could have ended in serious injury, but everyone was luckily unharmed.

The thing about luck, as many a casino guest can tell you, is that it runs out. What was a near-miss today could be a serious injury tomorrow. Employers who track near misses can determine why the near miss occurred and take corrective steps to prevent more near-misses--or outright injury--in the future. 

Tracking near misses requires a non-punitive means of reporting such events; many employees fear they’ll be blamed for a near-miss incident. If needed, incident management software can be set up so employees can report near misses anonymously. The same software can alert you to areas where multiple near misses occur, allowing you to correct processes or management system flaws before an employee runs out of luck.

Advantages of Incident Management and Compliance Management Software

Real-time compliance management software helps you track incidents, submit OSHA compliance reports, and identify issues that, left unresolved, could result in OSHA citations. Advantages of an automated health and safety management system include:

  • Automatic alerts when OSHA compliance reports are due.
  • The ability to identify frequent problem areas and resolve them before other incidents occur. 
  • Ensure adherence to OSHA regulations, eliminating possible OSHA violations.
  • Real-time reports submitted to a central database through smartphones and mobile devices.
  • Supporting video and photographic evidence can be submitted with incident reports.
  • Making teams accountable for submitting reports.
  • Real-time reporting reduces the risk of overlooking or forgetting important details.
  • Ability to provide concrete evidence about an incident (including visual evidence) if required. 
  • No need to chase people down to sign incident reports. Employees can sign off on reports using their phones and digital signatures.

Incident management software improves health and safety management processes, compliance, and accuracy. You don’t need a paper trail when you’ve got an up-to-the-minute database. Learn more about Illness and Injury Reporting for OSHA in 2020 in our recent webinar.


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