How to create an effective incident report

IT incident report is documentation of an event that has disrupted the normal operation of some IT system
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What is an incident report?

An incident report is a form used to record workplace accidents, injuries, illnesses or near misses. It’s very important to submit an incident report when an incident happens, regardless of whether it caused any injuries to employees. That’s because an incident report helps you uncover the circumstances and conditions that led to the event so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.

How to write an incident report

Record the basic facts

Start by recording basic facts related to the incident. These include:

  • Type of incident: Illness, injury, theft, near miss or property damage
  • Location of incident
  • Date and time

Note affected individuals

Collect and record details such as names, job titles, departments and any other useful information about those involved or affected by the incident.

Find witnesses

Collect details of any witnesses of the event and record their statements as detailed and accurate as possible.

Create a narrative description of the incident

Document the sequence of events that led to the incident. It’s important to specify the actions of those involved at the time of the incident. This will help you identify which factors were present before the incident and could be a potential contributing factor to the incident occurring.

Some factors to consider:

  • What did the employee do?
  • Who trained the employee or who asked them to complete the task?
  • How was the employee feeling before the incident?
  • What were the environmental conditions?
    • For example: Was there a burned-out light bulb? Was a piece of equipment faulty? Was there a blind spot in the area causing the employee poor visibility?
  • Was the employee wearing appropriate personal protective equipment?

Note the injuries

If any injuries were incurred, give a detailed description and include parts of the body injured as well as the nature and severity of the injuries.

Record the treatment

Document the type of treatment administered for the acknowledged injuries so you can follow up with the employee’s progress and recovery when reviewing the specifics of the event.

Indicate damages

Record and account for any damage to equipment and materials that were affected by the incident to determine what items will need to be repaired or replaced.

Establish a corrective action plan

Analyze the facts collected and documented in the incident report and determine a corrective action plan. A corrective action plan provides recommendations for preventing the possibility of both an increase in the severity of the incident and the recurrence of the incident.

Top 5 platforms for creating effective incident reports

Below are five well-known and widely utilized incident report software solutions to help you quickly record any incidents as soon as they occur. These incident templates are designed to capture a comprehensive and precise account of the situation, resulting in swift and informed decisions.

SEE: The COVID-19 gender gap: Why women are leaving their jobs and how to get them back to work (free PDF) (TechRepublic)


Jotform is a free platform that lets you create custom online incident reports from your smartphone or tablet. The form is easy to fill out and you can customize it in just a few clicks.

With Jotform, you can gather important digital documents as well as collect files and electronic signatures from clients, coworkers and colleagues. There’s a Form Builder feature that offers a variety of unique form fields designed to get you the data you need. Other features include kiosk mode, geolocation fields and offline data collection.


Smartsheet is a flexible platform designed to match the needs of your team — and adapt as those needs change. The platform offers roll-up reports, dashboards and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed.

Smartsheet free templates can be used to report various types of events including accidents, injuries, workplace incidents, property loss or damage, and close calls. The forms allow you to record information and key metrics about all parties involved, details of the incident itself, any law enforcement interaction, witness information and any medical treatment administered.

With Smartsheet you can get real-time visibility and it’s easy to plan, capture, manage and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done.

1st Reporting

1st Reporting is an all-in-one incident reporting software that empowers your field team with the tools they need to generate actionable reports to identify problem areas in their day-to-day operations. The cloud-based solution allows your in-field teams to log reports in real-time online from any device, which in turn helps get their jobs done quicker and safer.

The solution offers an incident reporting dashboard so all your reports are in one place. You can create customized inspection and incident report forms to capture the data you need from your team in the field.

You also get incident notifications and data insights so you can monitor incidents, respond and take action from your smartphone or desktop.


Delinea, previously known as ThycoticCentrify, is an innovative and intuitive platform that offers a customizable cybersecurity incident report template.

Delinea’s incident response plan templates help keep detailed records of breaches in your organization. Keeping these records can enable your incident response teams to reduce the risk of a breach from becoming a catastrophe and maintain your business continuity.

The templates also come with customization instructions for assembling an incident response team, a checklist of roles and responsibilities and details for actionable steps to measure the extent of a cyber security incident.

monday offers simple yet powerful incident templates that let you easily keep track of your incidents.

monday incident templates offer an agile, responsive, flexible way of recording everything from facts about the process of the incident to sorting or filtering your data. This helps provide greater insight into your incidents and you can easily highlight your most common root causes and the severity of your most common

The forms are highly customizable so you can add action items, reorder based on priority and create a tailored plan to fit your needs.

monday also provides a dashboard where you can assign team members to each action item and monitor your plan’s progress at every stage. You can also receive incident reports and you can also create and share a corrective action plan with your team on the dashboard.

A major benefit of using this template is you can export to Excel with just one click, and you can also import your Excel spreadsheet easily. You can also integrate monday with other existing tools such as Jira, GitLab or BugHerd, and they will automatically update your incident report templates.


Incident reports are a critical component of any company’s incident response plan. They serve as a means for creating a Corrective Action Plan to avoid repeat mistakes. Using the above applications will ensure you always have relevant and thorough incident report templates ready and available to capture details of any incident that may arise.

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