You have just been involved in a workplace accident or witnessed one. What is the first thing that you do? Do you check yourself and others for injuries? Look for any damage to company property? Think if the cause of accident is no longer a threat or will no longer cause another accident any time soon?

Probably all of the above except one: report the actual accident.

If all seems well and no one was seriously hurt or there was no visible property damage, or for whatever personal or incriminating reason, a workplace accident may go unreported. According to a US report, about half of workplace accidents are not reported.

Not reporting a workplace accident, however, is a disservice not only to yourself but also to your colleagues and the company. If you need reasons why you should report a workplace accident, here they are.

Top 5 Reasons to Report Workplace Accidents

1) It is for your own good

If you have been involved or just witnessed an accident, it is best to report it. Your first-hand account is going to be invaluable to the accident report. By providing an accident report, you may also realize other things that you did not initially think about such as the impact of the accident on your physical, mental, and emotional state.

Your superiors will also be able to gauge if you are fit enough to continue working immediately or if you need more help and time to rest and recover.

The report can be used as documentation for any legal action or medical claims. It will also be a record that may come in handy in the future for you, anybody else involved in the accident, or for the company.

2)  It benefits your colleagues

If a colleague gets involved in an accident and is unable to immediately report it due to injuries or any current circumstance, it is a witness’ responsibility to report the accident. It is only humane to do so. They will get the medical attention that they may need and will be given appropriate rest.

If a fellow employee is the cause of the accident, it will be beneficial to you and your colleague to report the accident immediately.

The venue of the accident can get cordoned off so that other people do not get into a similar accident on the same spot while the accident is being addressed.

3)  It will be for the good of the organization

A company comprised of employees that report accidents contribute to the creation of a safer company.

Company property that gets damaged and gets reported will likely get immediate attention.

The company can claim for insurance with the help of documentation from the accident report.

4) It benefits the community

The workplace is only part of a bigger community and any accident that occurs in the workplace that does not get reported will be detrimental to the community.

Reported accidents can help increase awareness about causes of accidents and people get educated about what to do to prevent accidents.

5) It can help prevent similar accidents from recurring

Proper reporting of the circumstances surrounding an accident can increase awareness and help prevent the same accident from recurring in the workplace.

With vital information available on accident reports, the company can initiate an information drive regarding preventing accidents in the workplace and provide generic details (so as not to give out sensitive information surrounding the accident).

By using incident report forms, employees can report accidents, near miss, and incidents whenever they happen.

Accidents happen all the time but by reporting every occurence, employees can help themselves, their colleagues, and the company in preventing similar accidents from happening again.

Written By
Erick Francisco is a content writer for SafetyCulture , a software company that enables businesses to perform inspections using digital checklists.