Incident Reporting and Investigation
Thompson Rivers University aims to maintain a safe and healthy environment by correcting situations that caused or could likely cause injury. When an incident occurs, it is important to report the occurrence so actions such as an investigation can be taken to make sure that a similar or more serious incident does not happen again.
ReportingWhat is an incident?
Why is reporting necessary?
When should I report incidents?
How do I report an incident, what forms need to be filled out, and who is involved in the
What is an incident?
There are two types of events that fall under the definition of an incident for the purposes of reporting guidelines:
The first is an event that resulted in an injury. Both student and employee injuries must be reported. Minor injuries are equally as important to report as major injuries are. Both of the following cases and many others like them, are required to be reported.
- An employee who works at a computer station on a daily basis may suffer from an ergonomic repetitive strain injury.
- A Culinary Arts or Trades & Technology student may suffer from a small laceration to the finger
The second event is one called a Near Miss. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, damage or fatality. The following cases are examples of near miss incidents that would require reporting.
- A chemistry student drops a beaker full of corrosive chemicals onto the floor but because of the clothing they are wearing, avoids skin contact with the substance.
- A carpentry instructor was doing a table saw demonstration and because of kickback, the wood board shot across the class, nearly striking a student in the shoulder.
Why is reporting necessary?
Incident reporting is necessary for several reasons:
- Reporting enables the correction of the situation and helps prevent similar future occurrences.
- If an incident results in long term leave or lost time and you wish to claim compensation from Workspace BC, the proper documentation is required in order to receive approval.
- For legislative purposes, Work Safe BC requires certain incidents to be immediately reported to them.Workers Compensation Act, Part 3, Division 10, Section 172 pertains to incident reporting to Work Safe BC. The following must be reported to Workspace BC by the employer:an accident that resulted in serious injury to, or the death of, a worker
- and accident that involved a major structural failure or collapse of a building, bridge, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system or excavation an incident that involved the major release of a hazardous substance.
When should I report incidents?
It is extremely important to report incidents right away, no matter howminor it may be. Even if the injury is minor or if there is no initial injury and you feel it is not worth reporting, the incident must be documented. The reason for this is that minor injuries can worsen over time and become more of an issue, or an ergonomic injury can become apparent several days or months after the initial cause. If this happens and there was no report of the incident, it may be difficult to argue that it happened at work. Furthermore, reporting an incident right away will allow for corrective action to be taken sooner, possibly preventing others from becoming injured,and ensure the details are accurate as the event will still be fresh in your mind.
How do I report an incident, what forms need to be filled out, and who is involved in the reporting process?
- The injured person or best witness must inform the area supervisor of the incident as soon as possible.
- Complete Incident Report Form with supervisor within 24 hours,for all injuries and near miss incidents. Use this same form to report any identified hazards that require corrective action. This form can be complete online and then simply submitted to Safety and Emergency Management.
- If first aid was administered, make sure first aid attendant fills out theFirst Aid Record form.
- If medical aid was sought through your physician, emergency physician or walk in clinic, please advise them that the injury occurred at work. You will then need to inform your supervisor that you sought medical attention and that they will need to complete the Form 7: Employer’s Report of Injury or Occupational Disease. This must be completed by the injured employee’s supervisor and sent to the Safety and Emergency Management Office within 48 hours .
If an investigation is required (discussed below), the Incident Investigation Report will be completed by those conducting the investigation.
Example of completed Incident Report Form - This is a near miss example and the most important part is "Recommended Corrective Action" (highlighted in blue).
Students — on an approved practicum or apprenticeship
These students are covered by Workspace BC so the same procedures as above apply.
If a student is injured during an apprenticeship or while doing practicum work, they will need to inform their instructor of their injury and work with the Instructor to complete the Form 7 Apprentice and practicum student report of injury and disease. Completed forms must be sent to Safety and Emergency Management Office
Students and Visitors
If a student advises you that they were injured on campus, please direct them to the Safety Officer
NOTE: All documents must be forwarded to the Safety and Emergency Management Department as soon as possible for investigative and administrative purposes. Once the initial report is submitted, the Safety Officer will guide you through the next steps if required.
- When are investigations required?
- Why are investigations required for these situations?
- Who is responsible for conducting the investigation?
- How are incident investigations performed?
When are investigations required?
Workers Compensation Act, Part 3, Division 10, Section 174 pertains to incident investigations. Incidents that must be investigated include:
- resulted in serious injury (medical treatment) to or the death of a worker,
- did not involve injury to a worker, or involved only minor injury not requiring medical treatment, but had a potential for causing serious injury to a worker, or
- involved a major structural failure or collapse of a building, bridge, tower, crane, hoist, temporary construction support system or excavation,
- involved the major release of a hazardous substance,
These investigations must be initiated by the employer immediately.
Why are investigations required for these situations?
Investigations are in important part of due diligence. Investigations will help to uncover the root causes of the incident, and provide those involved with better information about how to correct and prevent the situation for the future.
Who is responsible for conducting the investigation?
Investigations will be led by the Safety Officer and/or the Manager of Safety and Emergency Management with the participation of a supervisor representative and an employee representative.
How are incident investigations performed?
Using the TRU Incident Investigation procedureand in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act, Part 3, Division 10, Section 174 should be accomplished:
- determine the root and contributing causes of the accident/incident
- identify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures that contributed in any manner to the incident, including unsafe acts, personal factors, ergonomic risk factors, improper procedure or attire, misuse/malfunction of equipment and training/supervision issues and
- recommend corrective action(s), timelines for completion, assign personnel, in order to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.
NOTE: Copies of the Investigation Report will be sent to the employee,the supervisor, and saved on file with the Safety and Emergency Management Department. The Safety Department will later send a copy of the final follow-up toTRU's Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee for review and approval.
For more information on the incident reporting process or incident investigations, please contact the Safety Officer at 828-5139.