Many organisations have invested a lot of time and effort into their Incident reporting systems.  The output of this is typically counts of incidents and statistics on frequency rates.

There is a lot more information available!

Figure – A Better Incident Reporting Approach (mouse over for details)

 So the key steps in an Incident system in relation with risk management process are better handled as:

  1. Gather data and organise it into a logical timeline.  This means getting the facts on all the involved elements (people, plant, processes) and collecting this into a logical sequence.  There are lots of ways to do this efficiently and move administrative tasks away from line / operational personnel – including simpler forms that include guided questions; using photographs, and; encouraging use of interview recording (a good use of smart phones that are found everywhere these days!)
  2. Pass the incident data onto a trained member of your team (either internal or external to the Business Unit) – as they will be matching the recorded facts with a set of identified root causes.  This keeps the causal pathways in the risk assessments current and coherent.
  3. Generate information.  This includes a considered review of potential consequence (considering how much control vs luck was involved in the outcome which occurred) and identifies improvement opportunities that are then reviewed by a decision maker (who can escalate the process to a functional team for more exhaustive reviews.  Information is also available as recording the actual frequencies of root causes and incident types – valuable for decision makers to determine where best to allocate resources.


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