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How to write a good incident report

Updated March 23, 2017

Whether you work in a public area or a place of business, when something unusual occurs most businesses and insurance companies require an incident report to be filed. An incident report is simply a written statement of the events and how they occurred. It isn’t hard to write an incident report, but there are a few things you should know that will help you to write a good one.

Write the incident report in complete sentences and use simple language. Because you do not know if a third-party may be reviewing your incident report, keep the explanation of the events easy to understand and avoid using expertise language that could confuse the examiner who reads your report.

State what happened in chronological order. Begin with what was happening just prior to the incident (if it is relevant), then list details of the event in the sequence they occurred.

Notate whether you were the witness of the event or if the details were reported to you. If you did not see the incident or did not arrive until after it occurred, explain in your report who informed you about the incident and what steps you took after you were notified.

List all witnesses and parties involved. Since the person that reviews the incident report may have further questions, include contact information for everyone that was involved and remember to notate any fire, ambulance or police units that responded, as well as when they arrived.

Tip

Incident reports should be written as soon as possible after an event occurs. This will ensure that important details are reported accurately while they are still fresh in your mind.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Casey Kennedy has been writing online content since 2009. She specializes in writing about small business, careers, real estate, and ecommerce. She also enjoys writing about a variety of other subjects, including home improvement, gardening, and pet care. She attended the Academy of Art online, studying interior architecture and design while pursuing commercial flight training at Aviation Atlanta in Georgia.