What is incident reporting software? Why should you get it? How does it work? These are just some of the questions that will be answered in this guide. Incident reporting is one of those things that every workplace needs - in the end, we’ll help you figure out how to get it done perfectly using the right software.
● What is Incident Reporting Software
● How does Incident Reporting software work?
● How will incident reporting software help your business?
● Choosing the right incident reporting software - Things to consider
● Qualities and features you should look out for, including the ‘why’
● Incident reporting software: How to start an incident report
A fast-spreading fire would destroy your organisation even before you realise it is out of control. Even if there is an extensive safety protocol and regular checks in place, failures can occur - especially in high risk work environments.
Now, just imagine if there was a program that could take away the stress out of reporting incidents fast. Everything - From reporting, investigating, and tracking incidents, hazards, and near misses in real-time.
That is incident reporting software, in a nutshell.
It’s role is simple; to give organisations an edge in the management of incidents in an effective manner, that satisfies both regulatory and operational processes.
But how does it work and how do you decide what is right for your business? Got more questions than answers? Don’t despair. This guide will outline everything that you need to know about an Incident reporting software.
Incident reporting software has quickly become one of the hottest, and up-coming topics of discussion in the Australian Workplace, Health and Safety (WHS) space.
As organisations look into solutions to significantly improve workplace safety, this incident reporting solution has proven relevant.
But what is it, how do you define it?
A simple definition of Incident Reporting Software: An incident reporting software is an application that records incidents, hazards, and near-misses, then generates alerts, analyses their causes and enable organisations to improve their capabilities to prepare, prevent, or respond to health and safety concerns / emergencies.
Reporting software saves you time and money. It makes it easier to track down problems, and helps keep track of everything from basic errors to more serious risks. How they do this would vary between products. However, the basic components of their working process is similar - which can be broken down into the following stages:
Input of all of the organisational and users’ data, as well as requirements, including the definition of explicit processes for collaboration and the management of incidents. This first component defines scope and determines how the incident reporting software will work in fulfilling the requirements.
Following the occurrence of an incident, the software would determine the characteristics and type of the incident. It would log the information into a central repository and also alert users in real time.
This is a critical step of the software working process. The tool makes it easy for users, administrators and decision makers by providing a more comprehensive brief about the incident that occurred.
The detailed information is then stored digitally in the centralised repository and in an easy-to-access format, which is used to prepare the incident report using in-built reporting forms.
One of the biggest advantages with incident reporting software is that it allows organisations to alert Australian regulators when incidents categorised as ‘notifiable incidents’ occur, and as soon as possible in accordance with the WHS Act.
In addition, the reporting system allows paperless reporting and provides users with detailed historical information surrounding the time the incident was recorded, logged in, retrieved, transmitted, or modified. This adds up to make investigation and regulatory compliance easy.
Upon submission of an incident report to relevant authorities, the onus now rests with the organisation to address whatever health and safety concerns were discovered. The incident reporting software helps at this stage too. It would, based on simulated scenarios and available data, suggest a line of actions to help resolve the problem. There can be further investigation, preventive measures put in place, or corrective actions taken.
At every stage the software would track and monitor progress being made in handling an incident, through time-stamped as-it-happens updates.
Once an incident has been properly managed and logged, the software brings the process to an end for an incident. This is closely followed by a review that serves as an appraisal and source of data, upon which future hazard mitigation and preventive strategies can be built.
The best incident reporting software is like a private eye for your organisation. It can record any problem that’s in play. And it helps you solve problems faster with less stress and no wasted effort.
Key benefits of using an incident reporting software:
Incident reporting software alerts you to incidents as they happen, thus allowing you to respond faster to resolve the issue. Quick response often equates to deploying appropriate intervention at a stage where incident control is practical, achievable, and less costly.
The quicker the incident is resolved, the better for you – employees return to work faster, and extended business downtime is avoided thus helping you avoid revenue loss as well as negative publicity.
One of the good things about using a software tool for incident reporting is that, it makes sure everyone in your organization is on the same page. Your entire team can better understand the consequences of their actions, and how and why incidents occur. Furthermore, through improved transparency and communication, knowledgeable employees can provide needed guidance, support, and supervision to other workers thus reducing the likelihood of accidents occurring.
Most reporting tools are cloud-based. This allows users to access the incident reporting software from any location via an internet enabled computer or mobile device. This means real-time communication and remote capabilities come in-built.
Additionally, the best reporting software allows management staff and users to track how incidents are managed during emergencies through a trail of communications. Which means, everyone involved can monitor progress. This improves the organisation’s transparency in handling incidents.
For businesses in Australia, meeting WHS compliance is mandatory and usually ends up being a mundane activity. The process can be tedious and confusing, even without incident management. It therefore pays to have a solution that can do the leg work for you. Incident reporting software often provides users with in-built compliance templates, checklists, and notification which helps to ensure that you leave no stone unturned, towards meeting compliance quicker and with minimal fuss hence saving you time and money!
Failure to meet compliance would attract penalties in the form of fines or imprisonment. The incident reporting software provides regulatory authorities with verifiable proof that your organisation has fulfilled your compliance obligations.
There is a catch:
Make no mistake, the benefits an incident reporting software can offer your business is directly proportional to choosing the right software - i.e one that’s perfect for you. See how to go about it in the next chapter.
With so many incident reporting software systems to choose from, you may think the choice is endless. But the truth is there’s only one option…you!
Keep the following in mind before you sign up for an Incident reporting software:
When selecting an Incident Reporting Software, there are several things to consider. Not all services offer the same features, so it’s important to know what you need or want before you make a buying decision. By taking a moment to determine what type of software you’re looking for and what role you’ll like it to play, you can save yourself some time and frustration in the long run.
Next, you need to see what other people are saying about an incident reporting software of interest. You can easily judge from the feedback of those who have used the software. Check their website, social media pages, and industry related review sites. Note how users describe their experience and relate these with the plans you have in mind for the software. Keep an eye out for “fake” positive reviews too.
It is important you run through the capabilities of the software. Check the system requirements too. This would help you determine the various options available to you, before you decide to consider a software or not.
It is not always possible to use software applications without encountering bugs, glitches, and other pesky issues. And for a program that is as crucial to health and safety, it is vital you determine if you can access help when you need one, in order to avoid being left hanging in the middle of an important task that could lead to damaging consequences. In other words: What is their response time when you have issues and concerns? Just send an enquiry through any of their communication channels to get an idea. A quick, thoughtful, and honest response is the goal here. Consider anything less a red flag.
You see, it isn’t about price, it’s about fit. The best things in life they say are free. Well, this is not exactly true with most software applications especially, those that would move the needle. So, consider the cost of the program. This should be within your budget, otherwise you risk straining your financial resources. You don’t want to ignore other important aspects of your operations that require money in light of a tool. In the same vein, neither should you run off and buy the cheapest incident reporting software you could find; you will probably end up in tears later. Remember that you should choose the one that can get your job done, at a reasonable cost.
This is common sense - dip a toe before you decide to take the plunge. The best Incident Reporting Software allows users to sign up for free trials, because they have nothing to hide. On the contrary, they are confident of their product and are so are eager to impress you with its features and other perks. As for you, it's an opportunity to put it to test - and that is what you should do to determine if it can meet your needs at the best possible convenience.
Did you know there are over a dozen incident reporting software systems in Australia alone? To ensure you get value for your money’s worth, we’ve put together this quick run-down of qualities you should expect, so you don’t accidentally end up with the wrong one in your hands.
A good incident reporting software should at least have the following characteristics:
Incident reporting and day-to-day operations are vital to the success of any business. A well thought out, user friendly platform will be vital in ensuring a smooth and effective reporting system. The user interface should be intuitive - with prompts and guides users on next steps to take, with detailed dashboards, easy to reach menu tabs and icons. Also, the program should load fast. Additionally, it should incorporate all incident reporting processes such as incident identification, notifications, training, communications and so on to allow for streamlined incident reporting to save time and stress.
These are the bare minimum requirements, if you expect to have a great experience using a software reporting tool.
Every organisation is a unique combination of people, technology and operations. This diversity makes defining an ideal incident reporting software highly personalized. The list of potential features an organisation might want in it’s incident reporting tool is almost limitless. That’s why it is vital to do your homework before investing in a solution. Each organisation requires it’s incident reporting software to be designed and implemented differently. Solution: always go for an incident reporting software with efficient features including incident forms and reports that can be easily created and customised to match your organisation’s immediate needs.
A good incident reporting software will allow you to handle any kind of problematic situation that might arise in your organisation. In order for this to happen, the software needs to deliver notifications in real time which allows the administrators to respond easily and promptly. E-mail notifications and in-app alerts are common means of notifications.
A standard incident report will only collect data around the event, and this can lead to inaccuracies and confusion. There are two main problems that exist with this: one, an organisation’s incident response team will be inundated with poor quality reports, making incident triage and resolution harder than it needs to be and secondly, the process of capturing, investigating, and managing incidents can be replaced by ad-hoc documentation and discussions, which stifles accountability through a lack of visibility. At the heart of every successful incident response strategy, is proper documentation. So, ensure your choice allows you to take manual notes in-app, add pictures, upload files etc. throughout an investigation through the use of a robust checklist, forms, and templates.
If you have a sound working knowledge of the workplace and also understand a little bit about the nature of health and safety incidents, then surely you know that it takes a very skilled team to successfully manage these events. But at times, you can’t control every single incident, and they could occur at critical periods – such as, peak time. What do you do then? Well, an Incident Reporting Software should provide guides, tutorials, and how-to’s to bring users up-to-speed. This is a very important feature you should expect from a high-quality incident reporting software.
Conventional incident reporting systems can waste too much of your time. They can also be vague or not specific enough to allow you to fix the issues. At best they could be frustrating, at worst time consuming and expensive (in terms of failure to meet compliance). This can be avoided with an incident reporting software that allows you to generate incident reports effortlessly and then transmit approved reports directly to regulators per WHS obligations with the click of a button.
Modern technology has evolved so much over the years and with it, the systems that were once simple are now complex and difficult. A good incident reporting system will work in tandem with all the other manufacturers and office equipment like printers out there, without causing confusion or frustrating the staff.
Companies have a lot to protect. They have to make sure that their employees are safe while on the job, and machines are properly maintained. Someone is always at risk of getting seriously injured - one wrong move or slip, and someone could lose an arm, leg, or there could be fatalities. While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks completely, companies can decrease the chance of such incidents by monitoring their units closely for any potential problems through an incident reporting software. A good incident reporting software will have KPIs and capabilities, that helps supervisors monitor workplace processes or how equipment is used, as well as spot any signs of impending problems which need to be addressed.
Times have changed - it’s the age of mobile. Incident reporting software optimised for use on mobile devices would therefore trump any other software in terms of remote capabilities, convenience, and performance.
Capabilities to download and upload documents such as PDFs, spreadsheets, multimedia should also be available, as features of the software.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, things happen. And let’s be honest - only but few of us enjoy filling out mundane reports.
However incident reporting doesn't have to be difficult. Kiri Align is a top incident reporting software in the market that’s easy to use; to report, investigate, and track incidents, hazards, and near misses in real-time.
But that’s not all! It is also effective, feature-rich, scalable and intuitive. Using this program for your incident reporting needs is fun and easy!
Here is the kicker:
Incident reporting and WHS compliance go hand-in-hand. Kirialign helps you achieve both without the need for multiple services or software. Consider it to be your all-in-one WHS management and Incident Reporting package!
So if you want to report “notifiable incidents” at your workplace on time without stress, manage WHS effectively, and meet regulatory compliance, you have only one thing to do (and it’s not a drill - doomsday is possible). Protect yourself, your employees and business by signing up for free. Do it now, before it’s too late.