Missouri State University

Accident Reporting and Documentation Policy

Purpose

 It is the policy of Missouri State University (MSU) that all accidents or incidents that result in personal injury and/or damage to University property, shall be properly reported and investigated.  Although accident/incident investigation is a reactive process, a comprehensive accident reporting and investigation process is a proactive measure that can effectively prevent or minimize future accidents/incidents.  This operating procedure establishes a systematic process to ensure that accidents/incidents are properly reported and documented in a timely manner and that the appropriate corrective actions are taken.

Scope

 This operating procedure applies to the reporting and investigation of all accidents/incidents that result in:

  • A work-related injury to any University employee (staff, faculty, student workers, or volunteers);
  • Personal injury to non-University personnel while on or using University-owned property; or
  • Damage to University-owned property.

Responsibilities

Department heads, managers and/or supervisors are responsible for:

  1. ensuring that all accidents/incidents are properly reported and investigated in accordance with this operating procedure.
  2. ensuring that all corrective actions are promptly and completely carried out.

Employees are responsible for reporting any injury work-related accident to their manager/supervisor as soon as possible.  All accidents/incidents must be reported by no later than the end of the employee’s regular work shift. (Note: Employees must also complete the appropriate Worker’s Compensation forms as soon as possible, normally within 24 hours of the incident pursuant to the Worker’s Compensation Section 7.5 of the Employee Handbook.)

The Office of Safety and Transportation shall participate in accident investigations, either directly or by review of the report, as deemed appropriate to the occasion.  The Director of Safety and Transportation shall determine the level of participation that is warranted. 

The Office of Human Resources is responsible for administering the Workers’ Compensation benefits program for work-related injuries or illnesses.

University General Counsel will review quarterly reports and identify any trends.

Definitions

Major Accident -- Any injury or illness-related accident that results in:

  1. Death;
  2. Amputations involving the loss of bone tissue;
  3. Loss of consciousness due to electrical shock, lack of oxygen or chemical exposure;
  4. Possible permanent functional impairment of a body part (excluding those resulting from a back strain);
  5. Admission to a hospital (other than 24-hour observation, hernia repair or back strain).

Notification Procedures

Victims (if possible) and witness(es) of all accidents/incidents are to contact the Office of Safety & Transportation.

If the incident involves a work-related injury, employees must notify their supervisor or designee immediately upon occurrence of an incident. In the event the employee is not able to report it (e.g., unconscious), any witness employed by the University must notify the Office of Human Resources. (Refer to Section 7.5 of the Employee Handbook.)

Investigation Guidelines

Once notified, the Office of Safety & Transportation will dispatch a Public Safety Officer to the scene.

Accident Scene -- When possible, the accident scene should be preserved and disturbance of any physical evidence should be prevented until the principal investigator(s) arrive.  Unless necessary to prevent further damage or injury, clean up or repair activities should commence only after all pertinent information has been collected.

Witnesses -- The principal investigator(s) shall identify and record the names of all individuals who witnessed the incident.  Each witness shall be requested to provide a written statement identifying the account of the accident/incident. Witnesses shall be instructed to forward their written statements to the Office of Safety & Transportation. In addition, the victim of the accident/incident, if possible, shall be interviewed and provide a written statement.

Photographs -- When feasible, the principal investigator(s) should obtain photographs and or measured diagrams of the accident scene.  All photographs should be auto-dated by the camera.

Questioning Injured Employees and/or Witnesses -- When questioning injured employees or witnesses, the investigator(s) shall stress that the purpose of the investigation is to identify facts and not to assign fault.  At all times, the investigator(s) shall ensure that proper medical treatment and care of any injuries is given priority over questioning of the personnel involved.

Investigation Reporting -- The investigator(s) shall prepare a report in the form attached as Exhibit A (until an electronic form is available for record entry).   Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will document the incident in a database.

Appropriate information will be shared with the Office of Human Resources in regard to work related incidents.

Documentation

  • All University units will use the attached Incident Report Form to document the accident/incident. Once completed, these forms are to be forwarded to the Office of Safety & Transportation
    • [Note: The Office of Safety & Transportation is currently seeking a records management computer system. This system will be used to capture and report the incident reports that are currently captured and reported by hand. Once this system is available, authorized University personnel/units will utilize the system’s online data entry capabilities to document accidents/incidents. Additionally, the new system is expected to increase the University’s ability to identify campus accident/incident trends.]    
  • The Office of Safety & Transportation will log the accident/incident into a computer database by providing the following information:
    • Date of accident
    • Name of injured party (if known)
    • Location of accident
    • Summary of accident
    • Cross reference ID to office records containing additional detailed information on the accident
    • Name of Safety Officer who collected accident scene information
    • [Note: Until a computerized database management system is purchased and installed, the Office of Safety & Transportation will collect this information into a standard Excel spreadsheet.]
  • The Office of Safety & Transportation and the Office of Human Resources will quarterly provide a listing to the University General Counsel of all accidents that were reported as occurring within the prior three months. Additionally, these offices will report any Major Accident (see definition above) to the University General Counsel and the Vice President for Administrative & Information Services within 24 hours.
  • University General Counsel will review the quarterly reports and attempt to identify any accident trends that prompt facility/grounds modifications to improve safety. If warranted, the University General Counsel will contact the appropriate entity for further review and, if appropriate, action.
    • Reports will be delivered to the University General Counsel on or near the following dates each year:
      • March 31
      • June 30
      • September 30
      • December 31