A construction incident report is a tool companies use to track injuries, illnesses, and near-misses. Documenting incidents helps injured workers access care and improves overall safety at a construction site.
These reports also serve as evidence in workplace injury cases, establishing the facts of an accident. A Fort Lauderdale work injury lawyer can explain how an incident report fits into your construction accident case.
Why File a Construction Incident Report?
After a car accident, you report the event to the police because they provide a record of the crash, serve as evidence, and protect you from getting in trouble for fleeing the scene. The same logic applies to a construction incident report.
In many cases, you must fill out a report after a work incident that:
- Causes loss of consciousness
- Makes you miss work or restricts your ability to work
- Forces you to transfer to another job
- Requires treatment beyond first aid
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), businesses with more than 10 employees must record serious work-related injuries or illnesses.
While incidents that only require on-site first aid don’t require reporting to OSHA, filling out a report is still vital to record keeping. After all, since construction is a dangerous field, documentation helps companies identify possible risks and areas that need more attention.
When to File a Report
As lawyers, we always encourage documentation, so when in doubt, err on the side of writing a report. Make sure to file an incident report in the event of:
Injuries can range from sprains to broken bones to eye injuries, while illnesses can include COVID-19, flu, cancers, or chronic diseases.
Near-misses are incidents that don’t cause injury or damage but could have occurred because of certain circumstances. OSHA requires reporting near-misses because it can highlight areas that require additional safety measures. Just because everyone was fortunate in this incident doesn’t mean they will be next time.
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What Are the Parts of a Construction Incident Report?
OSHA’s Form 301, an Injury or Illness Incident Report, guides you through all the information you will need to record an incident. The same information could be useful for internal construction incident reports that your company uses to document accidents.
Each report starts with the basics, such as the following:
- Identifying the injured employee’s information
- Information about the healthcare professional who provided care
- The incident’s case number
- Date and time of the injury or illness
Next, you want to detail the events leading up to the incident and what occurred to cause the injury, illness, or near-miss. Some helpful questions are:
- What was the employee doing before the incident?
- What incident prompted the report?
- What injury or illness resulted from the incident?
- What object or substance caused harm?
While these reports will document the incident’s facts, you can indicate what failures or practices you believe caused or contributed to the incident. For instance, if someone got injured in a forklift accident, you might point to a violation of certain safety protocols, failures, or defects in the equipment or machinery.
Additional Information You Can Include
In some cases, you might want to add witness statements, diagrams, photos, or other documentation to provide additional context for the incident.
Some incident reports also provide advice on what to do next, like safety measures that should be taken in the future or training that may need to be done to prevent further incidents.
How Does an Incident Report Help in a Work Injury Case?
These records aren’t just for employers, OSHA, or keeping track of safety measures. They also reflect the consequences a worker suffers on the job.
For the actual victims of construction site accidents, an incident report is evidence used in the broader process of seeking help following an injury or illness. For anything from a fall from a ladder to asbestos and carbon monoxide poisoning, incident reports can make it easier for victims to advocate for the benefits they deserve.
It Helps You Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you get hurt or ill during your employment, you can receive benefits for medical bills, lost income, and more through your company’s workers’ compensation program. However, you may need to prove you were hurt while on the job. An incident record is part of that proof. It’s difficult for an insurance company to dispute official documentation.
The report can also provide the information you need to fill out a claim. If you got hurt or fell ill on the job, you might not have been entirely aware of what happened. Our lawyers can refer to the report’s facts to help piece together what occurred so you can file a claim.
It Can Prevent Disputes
Having workers’ compensation coverage doesn’t always mean it’s easy to access benefits. Those handling your claim may not agree with your version of events. Injured employees filing workers’ compensation claims can face issues like:
- Disagreements over how seriously they were hurt
- Disputes over whether they were injured on the job
- Suspicion of whether the injury was work-related or pre-existing
- Pressure to return to work before they are ready
An incident report can help prevent or mitigate these issues by correctly documenting the sequence of events right after the accident.
It Provides Evidence for a Lawsuit
In some cases, you may have been hurt while working on construction as a contractor or even while just visiting the site. This can mean workers’ compensation doesn’t cover you since you weren’t an employee at the time of the accident. Your recourse is to sue any negligent parties for causing your injuries.
A construction incident report can help prove the grounds for your case. A personal injury lawyer from our team can analyze the records to identify negligence. The carelessness could be the fault of the construction company, such as by not adhering to safety measures, or it could be the fault of another party, like an equipment manufacturer. The report can provide us with a starting point for our investigation.
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If You Got Hurt While Working at a Construction Site, Call Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers
If you’re concerned about filing or accessing a construction incident report or are struggling to get compensation following a worksite accident, contact our firm today.
We offer a free consultation to anyone who has suffered injury or illness at a construction site. Whether you file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, we can handle it.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269