Instruction on How to Write an Incident Report
Steps involved includes:
For a good incident report, the language should be easy to understand and straight to the point. An incident report is a file that is read by many people e.g. supervisors. Writing it in a complicated language will result in an inadequate understanding of the report. So it is very advisable that the language used in an incident report should be a simple English with no complicated words or phrases. It should be straight to the point and brief with the main points outlined correctly.
The easiest way to outline the most significant details is through the 5W’s:
WHO: this involves the details of the people involved in that incident. It includes the people that were most involved in the incident and their contact information. Other important details of those people, their physical characteristics, how they look, dress, sound or behave is also useful.
WHAT: this involves the events and actions that took place in the incident. How did it happen? What was done? Here a lot of details is given to how the event took place from the beginning to the end. Every detailed information should be fully outlined.
WHEN: this involves the time, date, day and year. At what time and day did the event take place? In some incidences, it is very critical to indicate the weather condition, the lighting and also other conditions that are deemed important.
WHERE: this involves the location that the event happened. Here a lot of information is also needed, for example, the address, the nearby objects, the buildings around, the geographical landscape, etc. It should be as accurate as possible.
WHY: this part is not as important as other parts since you may never know why the incident took place. It is good to write, for example, you heard someone say something about the event and you don’t need to guess what might be the cause of that incident. The main task is just to stick to the facts and not unclear opinions.
As the above paragraph emphasizes, it is very crucial only to stick to facts and not merely opinions. This is because, when one uses only opinions from others or what you only thought took place, the report will become weak because you don’t capture the facts. Thus, it is crucial only to write what you saw, heard or captured.
Take video or photos
When one goes to a particular scene of an incident, it is paramount to carry with you a camera or a video recorder or even a phone because it has both the camera and the video recorder. Record the incident because this will be essential for the report. It provides additional information that is objective. The videos and the photos will clearly indicate the level or the depth of the incident and how it took place.
A report is a document read by many people, so professionalism is highly encouraged. In the report, no judgment should be made on any individual or incident. Use of rude, provocative or slang words is not allowed. After the identification of the individuals in the report, it is imperative that the next time you mention them, refer to them as Mr. or Ms.
It is important that when someone is writing a report to use orderly paragraphs in order to make the report look neat. The use of paragraphs gives the reader an ample time reading the report. They can grasp the facts as presented in new paragraphs. The use of bullets is also encouraged because it gives the reader the urge to continue reading and understand the critical points.
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