When You Should File An Accident Report
By Jane Goldsmith
Some IU staff think they only need to file an accident report for an on-the-job injury when they have to go to Promptcare for medical care. That is not the case. Any kind of injury – even those that do not warrant a trip to Promptcare – should be reported.
When the injury form is filled out and filed, more than your name is noted. The university notes other information completed on the form – where the injury happened, what part of the body was involved, and whether you needed medical care, among other things. If necessary, it is included in the OSHA 300 log that is filed annually.
As part of the IU/CWA Joint Safety Committee duties, we also review the injury data. We use information from the forms to try to identify patterns of injuries and where they occur, to see if we can identify problem areas.
For instance, some of the major injuries incurred by support staff are sprains and strains. In looking at the accident reports, if we notice there were several injuries in a department which involved slipping on liquids (whether or not the injury needed medical care), we would ask Environmental Health and Safety to investigate what might be occurring in the department to cause so many injuries and determine if something can be done to increase safety standards.
So please fill out those forms whether you need to see a doctor or not. In the long run, it could help you and your co-workers have a safer working environment.