Writing a construction accident report may feel like a drudge, but it is absolutely necessary to keep your employees and contractors safe and finding the means to prevent similar accidents and near-misses from happening in the future. If the injuries or property damage are serious enough, the construction accident report may be legally required to be sent to the proper federal or state bodies providing construction site oversight.
What Is a Construction Accident Report?
A construction accident report is a recording of the facts and circumstances on a construction site that have led to an accident resulting in serious injury (loss of consciousness included), illness, property loss or damage, a near miss, or death.
When Do I Need to Write a Construction Accident Report?
A construction accident report should be filed immediately after the incident (to prevent important details from being left out), but not before the injured parties have received medical attention and the worksite has been deemed safe for all other workers.
A construction site report should be written if the injuries were serious enough to involve professional medical assistance, income loss, or a drastic change in the employee’s day-to-day responsibilities. Check out your local laws and federal regulations to learn about the instances when writing a construction accident report is mandatory or merely recommended.
When the injuries are not severe enough to require a visit to the ER or hospitalization but they did involve first aid intervention on-site, you can write a first-aid incident report that you are not legally required to submit to worker safety regulators or oversight bodies such as OSHA. In fact, it is not recommended that you submit such a report to authorities as it may increase your accident rates unnecessarily.
What Do I Need to Include in a Construction Accidents Report?
A construction accident report should consist of four parts:
- Hard facts
- Sequence of the events (aka the full story)
- Contributing factors
The hard facts should include:
- Date, time, and location of the construction site accident
- Name of the injured person(s)
- Type of accident (injury, property loss or damage, theft, or near-miss)
- Type of injuries
- Administered medical treatment, beyond first aid
- Witness info and contact data
- Witness accounts
- Photographs of the accident scene, injuries, and any damage to equipment, personal belongings, etc.
- Names, job titles, and other info on other people involved in the accidents (including supervisors).
The sequence of events is a detailed account of what really happened. It is the hardest part to write in a construction accidents report as it needs extraordinary attention to detail and documentation skills. Describe the incident in detail including the events that led to it or made the outcome worse in the exact sequence of events detailed by the victim, eyewitnesses, and other participants.
The sequence of events include the events that have led up to the accident such as the injured employee handling hazardous materials, climbing a ladder, or operating heavy machinery. It should also include the main event, namely the accident, such as the injured person slipping, falling, being exposed to toxic vapors, being injured by machinery handled by anther worker, and so on. Be as explicit as you can and include all the details.
Also, don’t forget to mention the events happening shortly after the accident, including visible signs of mobility loss in the injured person, the injured person’s complaints about difficulty in breathing or pain, other employees’ reaction such as providing first aid, calling for help, and/or calling 911.
Contributing factors should include the main cause of the accident such as defective equipment, careless worker, spill on the floor, etc. along with other contributing factors that likely caused the accident, such as the injured worker not wearing protective equipment or not waiting for his co-workers when lifting heavy machinery.
Recommendations for corrective action based on the conditions and circumstances of the incident documented in the construction accident report. These may include additional training of the workers on handling the equipment involved in the accident, re-evaluation and enhancement of the worksite’s safety standards, conduction of a job hazard audit, changes in the way things have been traditionally done on the work site, and so on.
Why Do I Need to Write a Construction Accidents Report?
Construction site operators need to file such formal documents to document the conditions, circumstances, and potential safety hazards that contributed to the accident in order to prevent such accidents from happening again in the workplace.
This is why, a construction accidents report will contain not only the essential facts, but recommendations to make the workplace safer also. Also, if you’ve been injured while working on a construction site with no fault of your own, you can use your medical records and the construction accident report to build a strong case against your employer or the people responsible for your injuries and loss when seeking justice with a personal injury lawsuit.
A construction accidents report is also needed to fullfil regulatory fullfilements under the state and federal laws (check out OSHA’s Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses aka Forms 300) and to assess the financial and human resource losses caused by the accident within the organization.