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Do you know what to include in your health and safety incident report?

by , 17 April 2013
Many businesses are scrambling to ensure they're minimising the risk of incidents that could affect their employees' health and safety on the back of the Boston Marathon bombing. But do you know what to do if a health and safety incident like this takes place at your business? Here's what you'll need to do...

The Boston Marathon bomb tragedy earlier this week has captured the attention of the world.
Now, bombing investigators are into their third day of investigating the incident that left many amputated, says The TorontoSun.
A health and safety incident report like this is crucial.
And locally, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) specifies that you must report incidents to the Department of Labour (DoL) inspector within 14 days of the incident occurring, says The Health and Safety Training Manual.
It's not just injuries that you need to report to the Department of Labour…
A health and safety incident includes anything that can result in injury to employees, damage and loss to property, machinery and equipment or pollution of the environment. 
By recording health and safety incidents in an incident report, they automatically become part of your risk management system, assisting in trend analysis and reducing risk factors.
That's why you need to report the incidents as soon as possible and follow up to ensure they've been received.
Because the immediate reporting of incidents means you're better able to prevent further injury or loss, and you can put corrective measures in place as soon as possible to preventing recurrence of the incident.
To do so, you'll need to conduct a preliminary investigation as soon as possible after the incident of who was involved in the health and safety incident, as well as the equipment, machinery or hazardous chemical substance involved, the date and time of the incident, and the facts of what happened.

Don't forget that you'll need to submit many documents with your completed preliminary investigation.
Five documents to submit with your incident report
 This includes:
  1. A completed full investigation;
  2. Photographs of the incident;
  3. Signed witness statements;
  4. A completed financial loss form; and 
  5. A completed employee counselling form, if necessary.
Here's how to prove you complied with your OHSA responsibilities by submitting your incident report to the Department of Labour…
Once submitted, it's a good idea to keep copies of everything you send to the Department of Labour  as proof you've fulfilled your legal obligation.
Follow up on your submission in 14 days to obtain a claim number. 
Then remember to keep this number safe as it is also proof that they've received your documents, says Kerusha Narothan, Managing Editor of the Health and Safety Training Manual on FSP Business.
And don't forget you're also obliged to keep a copy of the incident report on record in your HSE file, as regularly going through past incident reports is the best way to find out what caused the incidents and prevent them from recurring.

Get the "What to look out for to identify unsafe/unhealthy conditions" checklist when you subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor

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