Incident Management System: Best Design, Guide and Setup

Published 02/11/2024

An incident management system is a critical component in the workplace for helping track and manage incident reports, both reactively and proactively. Misfortunes in the workplace are real and cannot be avoided but can be mitigated. To eliminate potential incidents in the workplace, an incident management system is implemented. An incident management system is a set of processes integrated into a computer program that records proceedings in the workplace for better interpretation and decision making. An incident in the workplace can be; injury, accident, near miss, mental ambush, and sexual harassment.

An incident management system consists of many components that help organisations engage, respond, prevent and manage incidents in their organisation that affect their employees, contractors, visitors, customers or members of the public. These components consists of incident management procedures, the system to report, manage and track, communication tools, equipment and personnel.

View Incident Management Templates, Forms and Examples

Elements of an Incident Management System

- Command and management
The pace at which emergency in the workplace is responded to relies on the command and management. The command, in this case, is how to set up an incident management system, the channel for conducting third-party like insurance and health fund, and avail information to the public.

- Preparedness
As it suggests, preparedness is the way emergency management personnel can respond to an emergency. To comply with the incident management system, the emergency department staff must prepare adequately to respond to emergencies within the shortest time. With an emergency program put in place, the emergency team faces no obstructions when attending to emergencies. The emergency program covers the following;

- Planning for emergencies
- Organizing the relevant equipment
- Training employees
- Testing the emergency program
- Evaluating the whole program
- Resource management

The backbone of every process is resources, and proper management assures a quality emergency framework. Having the resources available does not translate to a standard incident management system but employing competent resource management practices matters. The resources include; certified workforce, equipment, and financial stability to cater for expenses.

- Communication and information management
Data collection, processing, storage, and disposal should be in line with government regulations. If data is becoming the new gold, then storage devices should be the new banks. Information has to be stored in robust devices and shared securely in encrypted form. Agencies must make sure consumers' data is kept private and confidential.

In the communication part, information must be relayed to the employees when an emergency happens to protect other employees and the relevant authorities from taking corrective action. Real-time communication is encouraged in the emergency department to save time when availing of information.

- Supporting technologies
Technology is a broad field that consists of vast interconnected devices and storage hardware. Agencies must employ all relevant technologies that support incident management.

The supporting technologies include; visual display units, information management systems, voice, and video recording devices-name them. Agencies must meet these specialized technologies for effective and efficient emergency evacuation.

- Regular management and maintenance
An effective incident management system does not end at successful implementation, but it is an ongoing process. Regular maintenance helps in keeping the system robust to execute the intended purpose as expected. It also incorporates the addition of policies implemented by the government. Ongoing management tracks the responsiveness of the emergency framework to identify weaknesses.

Benefits of an Incident Management System

- Improves efficiency and effectiveness
Since communication is made in real-time, emergencies are attended to as soon as the information is received. It reduces workload by automating communication and processes.

- Predicts future incidents
Emerging technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and computer vision help analyze trends and predict future incidents.

- Consumer satisfaction
Consumers desire to receive quality services from their providers. The use of digital systems improves the quality of products, thus customer satisfaction.

- Streamlines flow of information
Information is received when needed and acted upon immediately. An automatic alert is made in an accident at a particular workstation, and everyone becomes aware of the accident. The emergency department responds quickly and evacuates the victim.

Example Incidents

- Injury Incident This is an incident report where there has been an injury to person who might be yourself, another staff member, a member of the public, a visitor or a contractor. This is a safety incident where there has been an injury in the workplace such as medical treatment or first aid through to a lost time injury and accident report. This will form the core workflow for an injury management system.

- Near Miss

For this category an incident was a close call or near miss where there was no injury but could have been. It still needs to be reported because a near miss could be managed and prevent a future incident from occuring.

- Property Damage

This might be for any property or building damage incidents

- Safety Observation

This is for a safe or unsafe observation, might not need to be a formal incident report but still something to capture in the workplace to record unsafe practices

- Hazard Report

Identification of a hazard in the workplace such as a new hazard report so that awareness can be managed and prevent a safety incident from occuring. This might involve setting up a hazard identification system.

- Security Incident

For this category it is all about the occurance of a security incident in the workplace and managing all aspects of a security incident. This might extend to the specifics of a cyber security incident.

Case Examples

Examples include hospital incident management systems, construction incident management systems, computer incident management systems, and institution incident management systems.

Evacuating employees who have been involved in an accident is a process that does not require a second thought. The responsiveness depends on the competency of the emergency team and the equipment. Implementing an incident management system in the workplace saves time when dealing with emergencies and motivates employees.

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