Safety Management

How to Write a Construction Incident Report

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Salus Safety
5 min read
January 7, 2022

What to Include in an Incident Report

No matter the industry you’re in, there are certain points that must be addressed in an incident report. There are small changes you can make to your incident management system that can make a big difference. Make sure your incident report structure includes the following pieces of information:

Title and Basic Information

Fill out basic information such as the date, time, and location of the incident, and names and roles of individuals involved.

Description of the Incident

Include a detailed description of what happened leading up to, during, and after the incident. Make sure to include what construction job was being performed, equipment or tools involved, and any environmental factors that may have played a role. If you have an asset management system, leverage this to confirm and report what tools were involved in the incident.

Injuries and Damage

Document any injuries sustained including the type and severity. Describe any damage to construction equipment, materials, or property that occurred as a result of the incident.

Witness Statements

If there were witnesses to the incident, document their point of view. Include their names, contact information, and a summary of what they observed.

Root Cause Analysis

Analyze the factors that contributed to the incident. Identify any hazards, unsafe behaviors, or deficiencies in procedures that may have played a role in the accident.

Corrective Actions

What corrective actions can be taken? This could include things like implementing new safety procedures, providing additional training, or repairing equipment.

Documentation and Signatures

Attach any relevant documentation, such as photographs, diagrams, or medical reports.

Preventive Measures

Recommend preventive measures aimed at reducing the risk of similar incidents happening again. What actions or steps can be taken to avoid this accident in the future? Make sure to provide rationale for each preventive measure and explain how it addresses the identified root causes or contributing factors.

Keeping up with your incident reports is vitally important to maintaining a good safety record no matter what construction industry you're in

Now that we’ve gone through the basic fields to be included in an incident report, let’s move on to the report writing process. As you write, you’ll want to keep the below best practices in mind. While every company is unique, and every site has its own specific safety concerns, some guidelines can ensure your incident reports are fully complete and coherent.

How Do You Write a Workplace Incident Report?

Now that you’ve got the basic fields of an incident report, you’ll want to keep the structure of the incident report in mind, like writing in chronological order. Use these guidelines when you are writing an incident report:

Use Clear and Concise Language

Avoid assumptions or opinions in the report. Provide a precise account of the incident, avoid leaving room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.

Regulatory Compliance

Ensure that the report complies with any applicable regulations or reporting requirements, whether that’s OSHA or your COR Guidelines. Identify the occupational health and safety agencies or other regulatory bodies who will be reviewing the report.

Chronological Order

Present the information in chronological order, following the sequence of events as they unfolded. This helps to establish a clear timeline and makes it easier for the reviewer to follow how the incident occurred.

Formatting and Organization

Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to organize the report into distinct sections. Label each section to indicate its purpose and contents.

Professional Tone

Maintain a professional tone throughout the report, even when discussing sensitive or emotional topics such as injuries or fatalities. Show empathy and compassion for individuals affected by the incident while remaining focused on the facts and analysis.

Review and Revision

Before finalizing the report, review it carefully for accuracy and clarity. Check for any errors or inconsistencies, and make revisions as needed to ensure the report effectively communicates exactly what happened and the actions taken.

Follow-Up Actions

Specify any follow-up actions required, such as ongoing monitoring, further investigation, or additional training. Assign responsibility for each follow-up action and establish timelines for completion to ensure someone is owning the initiatives.


Lastly, make sure you obtain signatures from anyone involved in the incident, as well as any supervisors or safety officers who have reviewed the report.


Distribute the completed incident report to relevant parties, such as management, safety officers, and regulatory authorities as required.

What should not be included in an incident report?

You want the report to be as credible as possible, so leaving out bias, blame, and irrelevant personal information should be avoided. Do not:

  • Offer a prognosis
  • Speculate about who or what may have caused the incident
  • Draw conclusions or make assumptions about how the event unfolded
Each year, about 1% of construction workers suffer a fatal injury, which is the highest rate in any industry

Three Reasons Why We Write Incident Reports

Proper documentation like incident reports tells other construction companies and your governing safety body that you are a safe company. You can get more jobs if you can prove that your incident management is strong. As you get into the habit of writing proper incident reports, you’ll learn each time how to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The benefits are considerable, especially when the steps to get clear and accurate information are practiced regularly.

1) Worker Safety

This is most important factor. Since you’ll be acknowledging things such as preventative measures and corrective actions in your report, proper incident reporting can decrease the possibility of the incident happening again, which improves the health of your workers and the safety of your construction sites.

2) Schedules Met

Fewer accidents means fewer slowdowns, which better ensures that the project will stay on track and meet deadlines as expected.

3) Risk Mitigation

A company with a strong track record for safety can expect lower insurance premiums, as well as fewer inspections from OSHA and similar complications.

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