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Do's and Don'ts of incident report writing

When an incident, accident, injury, or near miss occurs in the workplace, the first steps are to provide medical care to the injured person and secure the accident scene. Then the investigation should begin immediately with the objective of identifying the root causes of the incident, documenting the lessons learned, and making recommendations to prevent a similar incident in the future.

A well-written report will be concise, factual, and impartial and reflect the fact that a thorough and fair investigation was conducted. Its content should include:

A well written, carefully prepared report can help avoid similar incidents in the future, demonstrate good faith, promote job satisfaction and inclusion, as well as help shield a business from legal liabilities. On the other hand, botched investigations and poorly constructed reports are fodder for plaintiff attorneys, regulators, third party litigation, media and even competitors. Regulators from OSHA and EPA have subpoena authority to access relevant, non-privileged incident reports.

Conn Maciel Carey, a boutique law firm focused on Labor & Employment, Workplace Safety, and Litigation, presented the following do's and don'ts in a December 15, 2015 webinar:



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Eight keys to a successful post incident investigation

Six common roadblocks to optimizing incident investigation