Construction incident reporting systems are generally implemented by states and companies to analyze, track and document all accidents that have taken place on a job site. The data that is compiled is then used as a means of developing a proactive approach to future onsite safety.

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The theory behind their implementation is that workplace injuries are preventable by understanding the situational elements of a prior incidents through incident reporting systems and developing preventative safety procedures. By implementing effective construction incident systems, future incidents can be avoided, or at the very least made less severe.

Creating a Safe Workplace

Construction incident reporting as an element of Safety and Health Management Systems (SHMS) are effective when based on five primary elements:

  1. Management Commitment and Planning – Management must be 100% committed to the construction incident reporting systems program in order to be effective. Program parameters and safety reporting needs to be proactive and used consistently on all projects.
  2. Employee Involvement – Employees need to understand that their involvement is critical and mandatory for a plan’s success and effectiveness. They need to understand that reporting incidents is expected and safe from any negative reprisals or actions.
  3. Hazard Prevention and Control – New Projects should be planned based on the learnings form the SHMS. By addressing potential hazards early and in a preventative manner, incidents can be reduced and controlled.

    4. Safety and Health Training – Implementing a policy and practice of training employees prior to deploying them on site can raise awareness and prevent incidents from occurring.
  4. Worksite Analysis – The jobsite must be monitored for any inconsistencies with the plan that may lead to injury. All new incidents should be analyzed and added to the SHMS.

Taking a systematic and proactive approach as well as implementing protocols when an incident does occur can help to integrate safety and health objectives into a company’s organizational structure.

The Results of Implementing a SHMS

Implementing a systematic proactive approach can reduce the number and severity of incidents and save lives.  Creating a system that supports the company philosophy and clearly stating and communicating policy goals can become an asset for workers, clients and the business. Tracking incidents allows for the development of long-term solutions rather than one-time fixes and evaluation of continuous data promotes continual improvement. Implementing an effective system can positively impact the company’s bottom line.

Why They Work

An SHMS system works when employees clearly understand both the benefits and company policy. Management needs to plan, develop, implement and enforce standard safety procedures while educating workers of the benefits of compliance with company policy. Keeping the reporting process simple, easy and transparent, will help to improve worker compliance.

Construction incident reporting systems work because they take a historical look at past incidents as a means to proactively approach the future job site with an eye towards safety for employees. Making employees aware of potential dangers thru education and a strong in-place policy of preventative action will reduce the number and severity of incidents adding benefits for employees, reducing costs for job management and giving companies a valid marketing tool to attract quality workers generate new work.

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