Improving incident management practices isn’t always easy. Although it is of high importance, often staff members don’t want to spend time learning about incident management. Let’s face it – it’s pretty boring for them. However, in the event of an incident or emergency, they need to know exactly what to do.
As a manager who oversees people it’s important to have a grasp on incident management best practices. This way, you can spread knowledge within your team and ensure that you are always complying with your legal and moral duties.
We’re rounding up some of the incident management best practices that every business should be aware of.
What is incident management?
Incident management refers to how a company or team responds to an incident. An incident could mean a variety of different things to different businesses, but what is important is that each business has clearly defined understanding of possible incidents and has clear instructions on how to manage them.
Without incident management practices in place, businesses can be liable in the event of an incident. Incident management helps to mitigate the disruption caused by an incident and reduce harm when an incident occurs. It allows businesses to continue business as usual whilst also maintaining their obligations to their employees and the public.
The stages of incident management can be defined in simple terms as identifying, analysing, reporting, correcting and managing hazards. The goal of incident management is to effectively report incidents and ensure that the risk of a potential incident is minimised in the future.
Why do businesses need incident management practices?
Businesses need incident management in order to protect their reputation, their employees and comply with their legal obligations. The WHS Act requires that employers notify the regulator of certain types of workplace incidents depending on how serious they are.
This measure is in place to protect employees and businesses from putting a foot wrong, and to ensure that every safety incident at work is fully reported. Depending on how serious the incident, a business may be required to preserve the incident site. However, this will be relayed to the business via the regulator once they report an incident.
The important thing to remember from a businesses’ point of view is to ensure that all relevant staff understand the incident reporting guidelines and are able to carry them out on behalf of your business. This is where cloud-based workplace training and incident management reporting systems are extremely beneficial.
Incident Management best practices
Train staff to report incidents as first responders
This tip relies upon training having already been completed before the point of an incident. In short, the first responder needs to have already had sufficient training in how to respond to an incident.
A comprehensive ‘first responder’ E-Form on an online incident reporting system can help with this, and urge the first responder to take the right steps. With Beakon, all incidents that are reported will work through a built-in Risk Matrix and prompting questions to assess the incident effectively. Prior to the incident happening, it is essential that the first responder has already been briefed on the process of incident reporting.
Investigate the incident
It is best practice to investigate any incident that occurs in your workplace. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the incident has to be reported to a higher body, but it means that your business needs to report and investigate all incidents internally.
It is key that you assign mandatory investigations based on risk level, looking at things like why the incident occured, the root cause and Contributing Factor Analysis. It is also important that you review investigations for quality and accuracy before being released for action.
Analyse the incident and report to a regulator if necessary
In some cases the incident report will need to be escalated. In order to do this properly, you will need to analyse the incident and assess its seriousness and risk level.
An incident management platform means you will be reminded to escalate the incident report automatically based on your business rules. The complex administration of compliance can be tricky to master, but with a platform that embeds your Health & Safety framework, business rules, and industry and legislative requirements within it, you can rest assured that you are protected.
Record corrective actions
After an incident occurs, a company is required to take corrective actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. In order to do this, you may want to invest in a digital platform that allows you to create an online paper trace that can’t go missing. Providing corrective actions and showing how you are minimising risk is an essential part of compliance, and a best practice that should not be forgotten about.
Create a return to work program
When someone has been involved in an incident, it is a requirement that you support them in their return to work. Incidents involving an injury will mean that the individual will likely need time off, and may have special requirements when they return.
It is best practice to ensure that the returning employee’s needs are met, and that regular meetings are hosted to see how they are getting on.
Incident Management software that helps keep your business compliant
Incident management software helps to keep your business compliant and ensure that employees are protected. It is not simply about reporting an incident. A business must also be aware of the incident management that needs to occur in order to continually evolve and minimise incidents.
At present, we’re offering a free trial so that you can see how incident management works with Beakon software. Sign up now!