An accident is when an unplanned event that results in an injury of a person, or damage to property of an organisation.
An incident is an unplanned event that does not result in personal injury but may result in property damage or is worthy of recording.
Systems for reporting and recording accidents, incidents, injuries, near-hits and early reports of gradual process injuries are essential to understanding workplace risks and for the successful prevention and management of injuries.
It is a requirement of most health and safety standards, including ISO 45001, that all accidents and incidents be reported, recorded and investigated, so that appropriate corrective steps can be taken.
Following incident and injury reporting, employers need to respond by carrying out investigations of the reported incidents and injuries according to pre-determined criteria.
Investigating incidents and injuries enables employers to take corrective action to prevent similar events in the future.
Investigating near-misses provides employers with an opportunity to assess the frequency and likely impact of these events so that prevention measures can be implemented before
anyone is injured.