Workplace incidents are bound to happen. From muscle strains and minor cuts to hospital visits and time off work, incidents can come in all shapes and sizes. While there is a legal obligation to document and report all workplace incidents, you'd be surprised that statistics in Canada show anywhere from 40-60% of all workplace incidents go unreported. While many people would chalk up that high percentage to many incidents being 'too small' to report, we're here to tell you why no incident is too small and how reporting all workplace incidents is of vital importance to your organizations safety and productivity record.
Why So Many Unreported Incidents?
When an accident occurs in the workplace there is a legal obligation to report it. Yet how can roughly half of all incidents go unlogged? The managerial environment of an organization often plays a large role; some managers discourage reports for small incidents because they feel it can lead to a worker's compensation claim down the road, put an end to a safety streak or reflect poorly on the manager themselves. Sometimes the employee who suffers the incident doesn't file a report because they fear being disciplined, missing work or being embarrassed in front of their co-workers. No matter the excuse, all of the reasons for not reporting incidents are unsafe and short-sided. Not only does the law require it but reporting all incidents will also help make your organization a leader in workplace safety.
Why Is It Important to Report All Incidents?
By reporting and tracking all incidents, no matter how minor, employers are able to track patterns over time and identify solutions. An effective way to determine what needs to be done to reduce (or better yet eliminate) workplace injuries is to examine the leading indicators. A complete log of all incidents allows management to detect patterns, single out potential problem areas and identify topics for further training. By analyzing the leading indicators and developing and implementing appropriate interventions, management can work together with employees to successfully protect workers from injuries, illness and death.
The importance of 100% compliance when it comes to reporting workplace incidents cannot be overemphasized. Your organization can utilize the information gained to make the appropriate adjustments to health and safety procedures and identify potential incidents before they have a chance to occur. This will have a profound effect on workplace safety, productivity and morale.
Encourage employees to report all incidents and educate them on the importance of that process. There is no shame in reporting a workplace incident, even small ones, especially when the vital information that is taken from that report might be used down the line to prevent more serious injuries.