Incident, Hazard and Accident Reporting & Investigation

Southern Utah University aims to maintain a safe and healthy environment by correcting situations that caused or could likely cause injury. When an incident occurs, it is important to report the occurrence so actions such as an investigation can be taken to make sure that a similar or more serious incident does not happen again.


What is an incident?

Why is reporting necessary?

When should I report incidents?

How do I report an incident, what forms need to be filled out, and who is involved in the reporting process?

What is an incident?

There are two types of events that fall under the definition of an incident for the purposes of reporting guidelines:

The first is an event that resulted in an injury. Both student and employee injuries must be reported. Minor injuries are equally as important to report as major injuries are. Both of the following cases and many others like them, are required to be reported.


  • An employee who works at a computer station on a daily basis may suffer from an ergonomic repetitive strain injury.
  • A Culinary Arts or Trades & Technology student may suffer from a small laceration to the finger.

The second event is one called a Near Miss. A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, damage or fatality. The following cases are examples of near miss incidents that would require reporting.


  • A chemistry student drops a beaker full of corrosive chemicals onto the floor but because of the clothing they are wearing, avoids skin contact with the substance.
  • A carpentry instructor was doing a table saw demonstration and because of kickback, the wood board shot across the class, nearly striking a student in the shoulder.

Why is reporting necessary?

Incident reporting is necessary for several reasons:

  • Reporting enables the correction of the situation and helps prevent similar future occurrences.
  • If an incident results in long term leave or lost time and you wish to claim compensation from the University’s workers compensation provider, the proper documentation is required in order to receive approval.
  • SUU is required to notify Utah Occupational Safety & Health office within 8 hours of occurrence of all fatalities, disabling, significant, and serious injuries or illnesses to workers. In these cases, contact the Executive Director of Enterprise Risk Management, the Director of Human Resources, or the SUU Police Department as soon as possible. You can also call the UOSH office directly report 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (801) 530-6901. Tools, equipment, materials, or other evidence that might pertain to the cause of such accidents shall not be removed or destroyed until authorized by UOSH.
  • According to UOSH, “Disabling and serious” includes, but is not limited to any injury or illness resulting in immediate admittance to the hospital, permanent or temporary impairment where part of the body is made functionally useless or is substantially reduced in efficiency and which would require treatment by a medical doctor, such as amputation, fracture, deep cuts, severe burns, electric shock, sight impairment, loss of consciousness, and concussions; illnesses that could shorten life or significantly reduce physical or mental efficiency inhibiting the normal function of a part of the body, such as cancer, silicosis, asbestosis, hearing impairment and visual impairment Read the Workplace Safety and Health in the State of Utah notice for more details.
  • These are considered “Notifiable Incidents” and they must be reported using the “Notifiable Incidents Procedure" document.

When should I report incidents?

It is extremely important to report incidents right away, no matter how minor it may be. Even if the injury is minor or if there is no initial injury and you feel it is not worth reporting, the incident must be documented. The reason for this is that minor injuries can worsen over time and become more of an issue, or an ergonomic injury can become apparent several days or months after the initial cause. If this happens and there was no report of the incident, it may be difficult to argue that it happened at work. Furthermore, reporting an incident right away will allow for corrective action to be taken sooner, possibly preventing others from becoming injured, and ensure the details are accurate as the event will still be fresh in your mind.

How do I report an incident, what forms need to be filled out, and who is involved in the reporting process?

SUU Employees – Including part-time and Student Employees

  • The injured person or best witness must inform the area supervisor of the incident as soon as possible.
  • The injured person must complete the Workplace Injury of Illness Form as soon as possible, within 24 hours if possible. A witness or supervisor may fill out the injury report on behalf of the injured person, if the injured person is unable. This form will automatically be submitted to the injured person’s supervisor, the Human Resources office, and the Office of Enterprise Risk Management.
  • If medical aid is sought through a physician, emergency physician or Cedar City WorkMed, please advise them that the injury occurred at work. You will then need to inform the SUU Human Resources office that you sought medical attention.
  • All incidents are investigated by the injured employee’s supervisor using the Supervisor Incident Investigation Form. Supervisors can find incident investigation support by using the Supervisor Incident Investigation Guide or by contacting ERM.

Students — registered volunteers or students on an approved practicum or internship.

  • These students are covered by Southern Utah University’s workers’ compensation insurance.
  • If a student is injured during an internship or while doing authorized volunteer or practicum work, they will need to inform their instructor of their injury and work with the Instructor to complete the Employee First Report of Injury, Illness Exposure, or Near-Miss Form.

Students and Visitors

  • If you are a witness, or if a student or visitor advises you that they were injured on campus, contact SUU police immediately, no matter how minor. SUU police will conduct a site investigation and take the injured person’s statement. The injured person must also fill out the Non-work Related Incident Report form.

Other Information


  • When are investigations required?
  • Why are investigations required for these situations?
  • Who is responsible for conducting the investigation?
  • How are incident investigations performed?

When are investigations required?

UOSH requires SUU to investigate all incidents of worker injuries and occupational illnesses. All incidents are initially investigated by the injured employee’s supervisor using the Supervisor Incident Investigation Report form. Supervisors can find incident investigation support by using the Supervisor Incident Investigation Guide or by contacting ERM.

Incidents that must be investigated immediately by the Human Resource Director and/or ERM, include:

  • resulted in serious injury (medical treatment) to or the death of a worker, student or visitor,
  • did not involve injury to a worker, or involved only minor injury not requiring medical treatment, but had a potential for causing serious injury to a worker, student, or visitor.

Why are investigations required for these situations?

Investigations are an important part of due diligence. Investigations will help to uncover the root causes of the incident, and provide those involved with better information about how to correct and prevent the situation for the future.

Who is responsible for conducting the investigation?

Initially, investigations will be completed by the injured employee’s supervisor or the injured student’s professor. Further investigation may be conducted by the Human Resource Director, ERM, and the Campus Accident Investigation Committee.

How are incident investigations performed?

Using the SUU Incident Investigation procedure:

  • Determine the root and contributing causes of the accident/incident by using the “5 Whys” method
  • Identify any unsafe conditions, acts or procedures that contributed in any manner to the incident, including unsafe acts, personal factors, ergonomic risk factors, improper procedure or attire, misuse/malfunction of equipment and training/supervision issues and
  • Recommend corrective action(s), timelines for completion, assign personnel, in order to prevent recurrence of similar incidents.

NOTE: Copies of the Investigation Report will be sent to the employee, the supervisor, and saved on file with ERM.

For more information on the incident reporting process or incident investigations, please contact ERM.

Use the Online Incident Report Forms page to access a complete list of online incident, hazard, and accident report forms and descriptions.